A FILE PHOTO of the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire speaks during his New Year’s address, in France, it is the economy, and the pressure at the centre and the Ministry of Finance in Paris, France, on the 7th of January by the year 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Talks between France and the United States of america, on the taxation of digital businesses, has continued to be difficult,” the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said on Tuesday, despite a pledge by the two countries to avoid a trade war, at least, until the end of the year.
Le Maire said that France’s aim was to impose a minimal burden on businesses, which, at the time of payment, any taxes, or very little, in line with a proposal put forward last year by the Organisation for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD).
The discussions at the international level, and has failed to make rapid progress in France, decided in July to apply a 3% tax on income from services is earned in France by companies with a turnover of more than € 25 million ($28 million) in France-and a total of eur 750 million around the world.
Many of these companies are U.S. companies, Washington has threatened to impose taxes on the most French products in reaction to it. The us Trade Representative office, said last month that the French tax was “contrary to the prevailing principles of international tax policy, and it is extremely stressful for the affected U.S. companies, including the Alphabet, Inc.’ s Google, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc.
However, in a surprise move on Monday, the President of france, Emmanuel Macron, said that he was “a big debate” with the US President, Donald Trump on the issue, and said that the two countries have to cooperate in order to prevent a rise in rates until the end of 2020.
Le Maire said that the cease-fire has been agreed upon by the two presidents had “a very positive starting point,” but for now, Paris and Washington to reach a compromise on how to tax the digital activity on a global scale.
He said that he would discuss the details of a possible final deal, the US treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“It continues to be a difficult negotiation. The devil is in the details, and all the details that we have yet to find a common ground, but I think we are moving in the right direction,” Le Maire said in Brussels before a meeting of EU finance ministers that the EU’s position with regard to the digital loads will be discussed.
France’s goals in the talks continued to reach a “fair tax, digital businesses and a minimum tax at the international level,” Le Maire added.
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Alison Williams and Susan Fenton