French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated on Saturday, 27 July, that it was necessary to avoid mixing together the issues of digital tax that Paris seeks to introduce against the US tech companies and the levies on wine threatened by Trump. According to the minister, the problem of fair taxation of digital activities should be the primary focus at the moment.
"It's in our interest to have a fair digital tax," Le Maire told reporters. "Please do not mix the two issues. The key question now is how we can get consensus on fair taxation of digital activities."
Speaking to reporters, Le Maire stated that Paris intends to proceed with the introduction of its digital tax on US tech companies while awaiting a universal agreement at a G7 conference in Biarritz. The official expressed hope that a consensus on the digital tax will be reached at the gathering.
Le Maire added that he is going to discuss the matter with his US counterpart later today.
President Macron previously stated that the G7 summit would be an important opportunity to move towards the universal taxation of digital activities, which is in everyone's common interest.
President Trump earlier pledged a “substantial” retaliation against France, threatening to introduce tariffs on French wine and blasting Macron’s “foolishness”.
France intends to introduce a tax, called "GAFA" by the French media (an acronym that means Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) that will target digital companies with global annual sales of more than 750 million euros ($849 million) and sales in France of at least 25 million euros.
Earlier this year, the European Commission scrapped a digital tax plan for the bloc to elaborate a common stance on the issue at a global level. Nevertheless, France and some other countries decided to implement the tax on a national level, while Washington has claimed that the bill is "discriminatory" and warned of WTO actions.