The United States announced Wednesday to launch an investigation into the effects of the tax that is about to be adopted by France for digital giants, including the famous “Gafa” (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple).
“The United States is very concerned that the digital service tax, which should be passed by the French Senate tomorrow (Thursday), unfairly targets US companies,” said Robert Lighthizer, US Trade Representative, in a statement.
“The President (Donald Trump EdLR) has ordered that we review the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and whether it constitutes a burden or a restriction on US trade. ”
Satisfaction in Silicon Valley
One of Silicon Valley’s lobbies, The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), immediately welcomed the initiative. “The French tax would retroactively require US services exporting to France to pay a percentage of their income since the beginning of this year to the French tax authorities,” laments CCIA in a statement.
“The French proposal is similar to the one that EU member states abandoned earlier this year after conflicts with international trade law became evident,” says the CCIA.
“The structure of the proposed new tax and the statements of officials suggest that France unfairly targets certain technology companies based in the United States,” also explained the Trump administration denouncing the French initiative.
“Restore tax justice”
In France, the National Assembly last Thursday gave its final green light to the bill, which should make France one of the pioneers in this area. The text will be submitted to the Senate Thursday for final adoption by Parliament.
This measure is largely inspired by a European project that failed because of the reluctance of several countries of the European Union. It aims, according to the French government, to “restore fiscal justice” against the digital giants.
Specifically, the tax would target companies that achieve more than 750 million euros in revenue on their digital activities around the world, including 25 million euros that can be attached to users located in France.
The idea is to impose 3% of the turnover achieved in France including targeted online advertising, the sale of data for advertising purposes and the linking of Internet users by the platforms.
This tax, which should bring some 400 million euros this year and 650 million in 2020, should apply to about thirty groups, many of them American but not exclusively. Groups such as Meetic, Airbnb, Instagram or French Criteo would be concerned.