Macron announces "very good deal" with the United States on taxing Gafa – High Tech


After two days of intense negotiations, France claimed at the G7 Biarritz have found an agreement with the United States on the taxation of digital giants, supposed to rule out the threat of American reprisals on French wine.

"There is a lot of nervousness on this famous French digital tax" but "I think we found a very good agreement," said Emmanuel Macron during a joint press conference with Donald Trump, after the G7 summit.

This agreement is based on the ability of all G7 countries to agree in 2020 on an international tax for digital multinationals. Once this multilateral tax system comes into force, France will "abolish" its tax and refund the companies their payment in the form of a deduction, explained Mr. Macron.

The French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said for his part that "what is negotiated with the United States is that all that has been paid in excess of the international solution will come in deduction for companies ".

"If the company pays 100 million euros in 2019 under this French tax, and in comparison with an international tax that will be implemented it pays 20 million more, the 20 million will give a deduction to 'company', he told AFP.

Asked whether the United States was indeed renouncing retaliation on wine exports tricolor, the US president was nevertheless evasive, just joking about his wife's taste for French wine.

"I can confirm that the First Lady loves French wine," said Donald Trump, without further details. The US president had assured a few hours earlier that Paris and Washington were "close" to a deal on the so-called "Gafa", an acronym for the giants Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, primarily concerned by the French initiative .

– delicate negotiations –

Definitively adopted on July 11th, this tax, which comes into force in France this year, creates a taxation of the big companies of the technological sector not on the profit, often transferred via assemblies learned in countries with very low taxation, but on the turnover.

This device provoked strong reactions on the American side. An advisor to Donald Trump spoke of "big mistake", and Mr. Trump himself threatened to tax French wines, going so far as to mention August 9 a 100% tax.

This tax is "very imperfect", acknowledged Sunday in Biarritz Emmanuel Macron, recalling that this device – temporary in nature – would disappear upon the entry into force of an agreement between the OECD countries. "It's a lot smarter to have international taxation," he added.

The draft Franco-American agreement has given rise in recent 48 hours to delicate negotiations at ministerial level.

– "open to discussion" –

For several months, the work has accelerated within the OECD, where 134 countries are discussing the future framework to put in place to fight tax evasion of digital multinationals.

According to a source close to the file, a compromise solution is under consideration, which could be presented before the meeting of G20 finance ministers in mid-October.

The subject is highly technical, but also eminently diplomatic since, in fact, the sector is dominated for the moment by American behemoths.

The United States, which had been blocking the negotiations for years, nevertheless opened the way to the search for a global agreement in the face of the risk of multiplication of taxation projects by countries such as France, Spain or the United Kingdom. United.

"I am open to discussing how we can do it." But "we must do something to tax fair and appropriate activities online," said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit.

The French tax, amounting to 3%, must affect thirty major groups, mostly American, but also Chinese, German, Spanish or British. According to Bercy, it should bring France 400 million euros this year, then 450 million in 2020 and 550 million in 2021.

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