US proposes wave of tariffs after French tax on digital services

Posted Tuesday, 03 December 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)US trade officials proposed a wave of tariffs on French goods Monday as they released a report finding that a new French tax on digital services — affecting large American tech companies such as Facebook (FB) and Google — represents a barrier to trade. Roughly $2.4 billion in French products could be subject to new taxes of up to 100%, the office of the United States Trade Representative said. The public will have until early January to weigh in on the proposal. The report and proposed tariffs could drive a further wedge between members of the European Union and President Donald Trump, who in July threatened France with "substantial reciprocal action" if it moved forward with its digital services tax.The French measure, which was approved this summer, charges a 3% tax on revenues earned by companies that provide digital services in the country. A number of other countries including Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom are considering passing similar measures, in what US and tech industry officials worry could be a fragmenting of the global corporate tax system.Monday's report by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is likely to renew an international debate over the power of large tech platforms and how they should be regulated around the globe.Tech industry groups welcomed USTR's report."Discriminatory digital services taxes act as a trade barrier for innovative American companies and small businesses often face the biggest burden from them," said the Internet Association, a tech trade group, in a statement. It called the French tax "one of a growing number of concerning unilateral tax regimes around the world."On Monday, Cedric O, France's secretary of state for digital economy, kicked off a weeklong tour of the United States beginning in Washington, where he met with current and former officials from the White House, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. He is also expected to meet with US lawmakers and Eric Schmidt, the former Google (GOOG) CEO."At a time when the European Union is organizing itself to speak with a single voice, cooperation with the United States and its actors is essential to promoting a new digital world," O said in a statement. "The survival of our model of society, based on the preservation of individual and collective freedoms and rights, depends on it."In August, the United States and France announced a compromise on the tax issue. Under the agreement, the United States would temporarily refrain from imposing new retaliatory trade measures on French products in connection with the digital services tax. That moratorium expired last week.Meanwhile, France said it would refund US companies the difference in tax between what it will collect and what companies will be required to pay under a comprehensive tax plan being developed at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Those discussions are still ongoing.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Auto workers at Fiat Chrysler have ratified a new four-year contract, closing the door on the possibility of another strike like the one that shut down rival General Motors for six weeks.The United Auto Workers union said that 71%...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

Holly Thomas is a writer and editor based in London. She tweets @HolstaT. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN)As if to prove a Christmas election can be even more painful than...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)There are some new rules in place for high school students who want to graduate in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that high school seniors will now be required to pass a civics test similar to the citizenship exam taken by naturalized...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler in 2019 sounds a lot like Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner did in 1998."Abuse of power" is what Nadler calls President Donald Trump's actions, declaring them impeachable.He "obstructed and abused power," is what...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Technology is a blessing and a curse for the modern office worker. Lightning-fast computers make the impossible possible. But constant distraction and friction slows work down.Workers are bombarded with a steady stream of emails,...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)The legal team for the whistleblower whose account kicked off the impeachment inquiry is preparing for the possibility that lawmakers will call their client to testify in the Senate, two people familiar told CNN. The White House counsel's ...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)The barrage begins now.Less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic presidential contenders are ramping up their spending with television ads that sell themselves and take aim at President Donald Trump.Massachusetts Sen....

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A man saved his neighbor's dog after its leash got caught in an elevator door on Monday and their apartment security cameras captured the rescue.Johnny Mathis, 27, was coming home from work in Houston, Texas and had just parked his car in his...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The number of Brazilians arrested by US Border Patrol nationwide spiked this past year to around 18,000, up from approximately 1,600 the year prior, according to data provided by Customs and Border Protection and historical data. The number of...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)The House is quickly moving forward on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. But first, lawmakers have to wade through the murky and messy world of legislating inside a congressional committee.Wednesday's Judiciary...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests dropped this year as resources and attention were diverted to the surge of migrants arriving at the southern border, according to newly released data. ICE made around 143,000 arrests in fiscal year 2019,...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Awards season is in full swing and the nominations keep coming in, this time for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, an annual celebration of the year's best TV and film.The nominations were announced Wednesday morning, with Quentin Tarantino's "Once...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Sinclair (SBGI) Broadcast Group, an influential owner of TV stations across the country, will no longer require stations to carry political commentary segments.The short commentaries are being scrapped, and investigative reports...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its December meeting on Wednesday, halting a series of rate cuts that lifted markets and countered recession fears amid ongoing trade uncertainty. Policymakers unanimously agreed to leave rates...

Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2019 ‐ CNN

Whakatane, New Zealand (CNN)Geoff Hopkins says he will never forget the cries as the survivors of the White Island volcano eruption were pulled aboard the rescue boat.Screaming in pain, with skin peeling from their faces and limbs scorched by steam and...