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Internet: the United States threatens to impose on France a digital tax with punitive tariffs of up to 100%

News1 (AFP Journal) Internet

The United States threatens France for a digital tax with punitive tariffs of up to 100%

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Symbols of the company "Gafa" taxing France

Source: AFP / Archive

Taxes in Austria, Italy and Turkey must also be verified

reThe US government has threatened France to import $ 2.4 billion (2.2 billion euros) of imports related to the digital tax on Internet companies, with tariffs up to 100%. A list released Monday by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington shows a number of French cheeses such as Roquefort, as well as yogurts, sparkling wine, cosmetics and handbags. Punitive duties could therefore be due from mid-January.

Lighthizer explained that the French digital tax discriminated against American companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon and was an extraordinary burden for the Internet companies concerned. He also announced that he would consider similar taxes in Austria, Italy and Turkey.

US President Donald Trump had already described the digital tax as "unfair" in the past and threatened France with imposing punitive tariffs on wine. In July, Lighthizer opened an investigation. At the G7 summit in Biarritz in August, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that Trump wanted to give up sanctions for the moment.

The so-called Gafa tax, named after the initials of internet giants, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, is expected to bring France about 400 million euros this year and about 650 million next year. The turnover made in France by the big Internet companies, which barely pay the tax on their profits in Europe, is taxed at 3%.

The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, had just said Monday morning that the French government was going to stick to the tax. France will never give up the tax, he told France Inter radio.