Publicado: Mier, Diciembre 04, 2019
Financiera | Por Marilu Caballero

USA proposes US$2.4 Billion in tariffs on France over digital tax

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative charges that France's new digital services tax discriminates against U.S. companies.

The US officials said they would hold a hearing on the plan on January 7.

Earlier Monday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire appeared to not have much confidence in the DST going over well with the Trump administration and predicted Washington was likely to respond with tariffs.
In a report on Monday local time, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recommended punitive tariffs on 63 product lines with a import value of around U.S. $2.4 billion on French goods.

But we're back to square one and tariffs could jeopardize the OECD's work. In a separate press release, it also recommends new tariffs and says that there could be more investigations into the digital taxes of Austria, Italy and Turkey.

"The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of European Union member states, which unfairly targets us companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading USA digital services companies".

"I'm not in love with those (tech) companies, but they're our companies", Trump said Tuesday ahead of a sure-to-be-tense meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in London.

It said it found the French tax proposal "unusually burdensome for affected United States companies", including Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Inc.

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The tax affects companies with at least 750 million euros ($830 million) in annual global revenue on their digital activities. "This French taxation is not directed at any country, or against any company".

The United States has already imposed 25pc duties on French wine and cheese as part of its WTO-sanctioned response to illegal European Union aircraft subsidies, a move exporters warned would penalise U.S. consumers while severely hurting French producers.

The U.S. move is a setback for efforts to stop a conflict over digital tax from intensifying. The US has also prepared to broaden tariffs against the bloc as part of a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies.

The tech trade group ITI said it welcomed the administration's decision and urged continued negotiations on worldwide taxes under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

France's three percent levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by companies with more than 25 million euros (27.86 million US dollars) of revenues from France and 750 million euros (830 million USA dollars) worldwide.

Trump in August suggested tariffs of up to 100% on French wine and told aides that while he's not generally empathetic with USA tech companies, he believes it should be the US - not any other country - that taxes them, people familiar with internal deliberations said.

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