An American professional group representing Google, Amazon and Facebook on Tuesday denounced the agreement on the French digital tax announced by Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron the day before. This agreement provides for the introduction of the new French tax on the activity of major technology groups (GAFA) until the entry into force of a new international tax plan negotiated within the framework of the OECD.
"We should not support a compromise that gives the go-ahead to discriminatory taxes on US technology companies at the cost of a vague promise of partial repayment years later," said Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represents Google, Amazon and Facebook, fearing that the French initiative "encourages other countries to follow this example."
The 3% French tax on the turnover of large technology companies that generate at least 750 million euros (US $ 830 million) a year has been criticized in Washington, especially because it departs from the usual principle to tax a company on its profits. The French Parliament adopted the new levy in July, frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations on a new global agreement to increase tax revenues from large international technology companies outside their home country.
If the United States gives permission to France, then it will be an opportunity for other foreign governments to attack the big US employers
Under the agreement reached at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, the French tax authorities will reimburse companies that pay more than they would have paid with the international formula yet to be determined within the OECD, said the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire.
Joe Kennedy, of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a think tank that is often industry-aligned, also said the United States should reject the deal. "If the United States gives its authorization to France, then it will be an opportunity for other foreign governments to attack the big US employers and impose similar taxes," he said.
Google did not comment on the announcement of the deal on Monday. But the group recalled its previous position that supports a new global tax convention, while warning against the "dangerous consequences" of the French tax.