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U.S. retaliates against French digital tax: tariffs on $ 2.4 billion in French goods will be increased

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Editor’s note: This article is from Tencent Technology, reviewed by Cheng Xi, and published with permission from 36 氪.The launch of the digital tax has something to do with the tax avoidance practices of American technology companies in Europe.According to reports, the US technology giants have made considerable income in European countries, but they have taken advantage of the loopholes of European countries’ tax systems and transferred their profits to low-tax countries such as Ireland through complex subsidiary design, which has caused tax losses in European countries.Previously, the French government announced that it would levy a digital service tax on multinational technology companies, and Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and other US companies were the first to bear the tax. This tax has also triggered dissatisfaction among the US government and the Silicon Valley industry.According to the latest foreign media news, on December 2, the US government stated that it plans to impose punitive tariffs of up to 100% on French champagne, handbags, cheese and other products valued at US $ 2.4 billion, because the United States has identified France’s new digital servicesTaxes will hurt US tech companies.According to foreign media reports, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced on the same day that its 301 trade survey found that the French digital services tax “does not conform to the general principles of international taxation policies and is an unusually heavy burden for affected US companies.”U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US government is also considering whether to launch similar investigations into digital services taxes in countries such as Austria, Italy and Turkey.”The Office of the United States Trade Representative is committed to combating growing protectionism in EU member states, which unfairly targets U.S. companies, whether through digital service taxes or other (punitive) measures against U.S. technology companies,” he said.The trade agency said it would collect public comments on its proposed tariff list by January 14 next year and hold a public hearing on January 7.It did not set a date for the proposed maximum tariff of 100% on French goods.Earlier, trade disputes between France and the United States have occurred. The United States has imposed a quarter of punitive tariffs on some French goods for subsidies from the disputed aircraft manufacturer Airbus.The US government’s digital tax levy list is for goods that have not been affected by the punitive tariffs mentioned above, such as sparkling wine, handbags, and cosmetics. These tax lists will hit French luxury giant Louis Vuitton and cosmetics.Manufacturers such as L’Oreal.The US government’s tariff retaliation measures have won support from legislators in the US Congress and US technology industry groups.Bipartisan members of the Senate Finance Committee said: “France’s digital services tax is unreasonable, protectionist, and discriminatory.” To date, several European countries have introduced digital services tax policies.The tax will also take effect next year.The launch of the digital tax has something to do with the tax avoidance practices of American technology companies in Europe.According to reports, the US technology giants have made considerable income in European countries, but they have taken advantage of the loopholes of European countries’ tax systems and transferred their profits to low-tax countries such as Ireland through complex subsidiary design, which has caused tax losses in European countries.These digital taxes are often levied based on the sales income of technology companies in a certain country, avoiding the risk of profit transfer and tax avoidance.The digital tax that was first introduced by European countries began to spread around the world. It is reported that many Asian countries such as South Korea and India are also considering digital tax collection.In recent years, Google, Facebook, Apple and other technology companies have been subjected to antitrust investigations, lawsuits, and even huge fines in many countries around the world.In addition, countless personal privacy scandals have burst. Digital taxes are also considered by governmentsOne of the rectification measures for these tech giants.The digital services tax levied by the British government will take effect in April next year. Naturally, the target is also US technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon.Previously, US President Trump said that if Britain insists on a digital service tax, the United States will not sign a free trade agreement with Britain.