Follow Us:
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Explained: What is the US-France tariff dispute over tech firms?

The US-France tax dispute, which first arose in July last year, will now be decided by the end of 2020.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 22, 2020 8:51:48 am
The two countries continue negotiations over digital taxes during the year at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

On Monday, US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to postpone an increase in tariffs between the two countries, Reuters reported. The tax dispute, which first arose in July last year, will now be decided by the end of 2020.

Macron tweeted, “Great discussion with @realDonaldTrump on digital tax. We will work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation.” Trump retweeted, “Excellent!”

Explained: What is the US-France tariff dispute?

In July 2019, France imposed a 3 per cent tax on digital revenue earned in the country by tech firms having sales of more than EUR 750 million globally or more than EUR 25 million in France.

American tech giants, such as Google, Amazon, and Apple were hit by the levies.

In retaliation, the Trump administration threatened to place tariffs of up to 100 per cent on USD 2.4 billion of French imports including wine, cheese, and lipstick.

France has since buckled under US pressure and agreed to postpone the enforcement of the tax, a Wall Street Journal report said.

Internationally, efforts have been underway to find out ways to tax tech revenues, since tech companies often pay little tax in countries in which they are not physically present, thanks to older tax regimes.

Apart from France, other countries such as Austria and Italy have introduced plans to tax online sales and advertising revenues. Canada and the UK have also been exploring possibilities to reform their policies, according to the WSJ report.

Also Read | Starr turn in impeachment drama: Why Donald Trump’s case recalls Bill Clinton’s

What happens now?

The two countries have now decided to not impose tariffs until the end of 2020.

They will, however, continue negotiations over digital taxes during the year at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of prosperous countries.

At the OECD, the US will try to arrive at a consensus over the issue in order to avoid its tech firms from being made to pay taxes in separate countries.

Don’t miss from Explained | UAE has been declared ‘reciprocating territory’ by India. What does this mean?

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement