US Vows 100% Tariffs On $2.4 Billion French Goods Over Digital Tax

US Threatens 100% Tariffs On $2.4 billion French Goods Over Digital Services Tax

Tax affects companies with least 750 million euros in annual global revenue.

Washington:

The United States on Monday threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French goods in retaliation for a digital services tax it says is discriminatory.

French sparkling wine, yogurt and Roquefort cheese are on the list of goods that could be targeted as soon as mid-January after a report from the US Trade Representative's office found the tax penalizes American tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

The decision "sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on US companies," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

Lighthizer also warned that Washington was considering widening the investigation to look into similar taxes in Austria, Italy, and Turkey.

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

The announcement comes hours before President Donald Trump is due to meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London on Tuesday.

The French tax, enacted earlier this year, imposes a three percent levy on the revenues earned by technology firms in France, which often come from online advertising and other digital services.

The tax affects companies with least 750 million euros ($830 million) in annual global revenue on their digital activities.

The French tax targets revenue instead of profits, which are often reported by tech giants in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland in a practice that has enraged governments.

The USTR report "concluded that France's Digital Services Tax (DST) discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies."

After the tax was enacted, Trump in July vowed "substantial" retaliation for the French measure.

USTR has scheduled public hearings on the proposal to imposes "duties of up to 100 percent on certain French products," and the possibility of "imposing fees or restrictions on French services."

The last date to submit comments on the proposed actions is January 14, and "USTR expects to proceed expeditiously thereafter."

- Roquefort, not Bordeaux -

The list of French products subject to potential duties includes cosmetics, porcelain, soap, handbags, butter, and several kinds of cheeses, including Roquefort, Edam and Gruyere.

However, despite Trump's repeated threats to retaliate against French wines, only sparkling wine made the tariff list.

Efforts to find a global solution to the dispute over digital taxes have so far not been successful.

Last month, G20 ministers meeting in Washington opened talks on an international system to tax global tech giants that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development hopes would take effect by June.

Public outrage has grown over the practice of profit shifting, which critics say deprives governments of their fair share of tax revenue.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Comments

Related news

Donald Trump mocked by Donald Tusk in bizarre picture that shows EU leader holding two fingers up in ‘gun’ gesture.

EU heavyweight Donald Tusk points a “gun” gesture at Donald Trump in a bizarre tweet mocking the US President. Former EU Council chief Tusk posted the snap which shows him holding two fingers to Trump’s back. Tusk waded into the diplomatic row whi...

U.S. sailor used service weapon to kill 2 at Pearl Harbor: official

The shooter was identified Thursday as 22-year-old G. Romero, according to a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that had not been made public.

Bolivia: 'overwhelming evidence' of vote rigging in favor of Morales, OAS says.

Regional body describes ‘malicious’ steps to rig October election in report, including use of a hidden computer serverThe Organization of American States (OAS) has described “deliberate” and “malicious” steps to rig Bolivia’s October election in f...

Trump administration claims Iran has killed over 1,000 people in recent protests.

In one incident in southwest Iran, the U.S. official said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp mowed down at least 100 people with machine-gun fire.

Rudy Giuliani heads to Ukraine to meet lawyers as impeachment encroaches.

An independent Ukrainian lawmaker said on Thursday he had met U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in Kiev to discuss the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukrainian state bodies.

Продовжуючи переглядати World News (UAZMI), ви підтверджуєте, що ознайомилися з Правилами користування сайтом, і погоджуєтеся на використання файлів cookie