US to investigate France’s proposed digital tax on Apple, other tech companies

Earlier this year, it was reported that France was pushing ahead with its tax on big tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Now, the United States has plans to investigate that tax and its merits.

According to Reuters, President Trump today ordered an investigation into the proposed tax in France. Regulators believe that the tax might unfairly target American companies:

“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation.

USTR said in a statement the “services covered are ones where U.S. firms are global leaders. The structure of the proposed new tax as well as statements by officials suggest that France is unfairly targeting the tax at certain U.S.-based technology companies.”

Lighthizer now has one year to investigate whether the tax specifically targets US companies. It could result in the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions on France, the report says.

France has proposed a tax of 3 percent on tech companies with worldwide revenues of more than $842 million. The goal is to make sure tech giants pay their fair share of taxes on European operations. France says that it would like to see a similar tax imposed across all of Europe.

France believes that this tax could produce revenue of $563 million per year. Details remain unclear as to when or if the tax will fully go into effect.

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