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France won’t scrap tax on tech giants, despite Trump threats

Posted at 3:43 AM, Jul 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-27 06:43:17-04

PARIS (AP) — France is pushing ahead with a landmark tax on tech giants like Google and Facebook despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliatory tariffs on French wine.

After Trump slammed the “foolishness” of the tax in a tweet Friday and promised reciprocal action, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said “France will implement” it anyway.

According to Le Maire’s office, he added, “the universal taxation of digital activity is a challenge that concerns us all.” He said the tax is meant as a temporary measure pending negotiations on an international tax deal.

The French measure does not only target U.S. companies, and only concerns revenues within France, notably of companies that use consumer data to sell online advertising.

It’s designed to stop multinationals from avoiding French taxes by setting up European headquarters in low-tax EU countries.