French Parliament Passes Tax Law on Tech Giants Amid US Investigation

French Parliament Passes Tax Law on Tech Giants Amid US Investigation

This comes after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has announced that he launches investigation into France’s planned tech giants tax.
The French parliament has passed a law on taxing major US digital companies, including Google and Facebook.

The legislation is referred to as the GAFA tax, which is an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

The document was nodded by a simple show of hands in France’s Senate upper house after being passed by the National Assembly lower chamber.

The move comes after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the beginning of a probe into France’s planned tax on tech giants, adding that Washington is very concerned that the tax would “unfairly target American companies”.

He said in a statement that “the President has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce”.

Lighthizer will reportedly be given up to a year to look into whether the French plan would hurt US technology firms, and suggest retaliatory measures.

Last month, he described the tax as something “that is geared toward hitting American companies disproportionately”, saying that he thinks that “it’s something the United States has got to take strong action on”.

Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the senior Democratic Party member on the panel, for their part, hailed the investigation.

“The digital services tax that France and other European countries are pursuing is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost US jobs and harm American workers”, they pointed out in a joint statement.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, in turn, warned against “threats” to grapple with tax-related bilateral disputes.

“Between allies, I believe we can and must resolve our differences in another way than through threats”, he said during his address to the French Senate in the run-up to the vote.

He touted France as “a sovereign state” which he stressed “alone decides on its taxation mechanisms and it will continue to do so”.

Earlier this week, media reports said that the French MPs are due to approve a 3-percent levy on revenue made by major US technology companies in France. The French government claims that these tech giants are currently exploiting global tax loopholes.


Loading ...