Donald Trump Punishes Macron With Tariffs Of 2.5 Billion To France In Response To The 'Google Rate'

The Donald Trump Executive announced Monday that it will impose tariffs of 2.4 billion dollars on French products, in response to the tax known as ‘Google Rate’ which will amount to up to 100% of the value of certain products. The French Assembly approved a few months ago a fee on the digital services of US technology companies such as Google and Facebook.

The Office of the U.S. Foreign Trade Representative (USTR) sent a statement that spoke of a measure that "includes tariffs of up to 100% on certain French products."

French products apply to 63 different categories that have a value of 2.4 billion dollars. Products such as various types of cheeses, bags, sparkling wine and various makeup items are given there.

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"Discriminate against the big ones"

This Monday's announcement is the result of an investigation that the Government of President Donald Trump has carried out over five months on the Paris digital tax and that concludes that this rate "discriminates against US companies, is incompatible with current principles. of international fiscal policy and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies. "

Although for now it is a recommendation of the USTR and there is not yet an official effective date, Trump is expected to give the green light to the initiative promoted by this government office soon.

In the statement, US Foreign Trade Officer Robert Lighthizer said that "today's USTR decision sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate against or impose undue charges on American companies. "

Lighthizer also warned that the USTR is evaluating whether to open investigations of the same type on taxes on digital services in Austria, Italy and Turkey.

"The USTR focuses on counteracting the growing protectionism of EU member states, which is unfairly targeting American companies, whether through taxes on digital services or other efforts that target the main digital service companies of United States, "he added.

This measure comes months after France officially promulgated in July the so-called GAFA rate (by Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), which sets the 3% tax on the turnover of the digital business of these companies to force them to pay taxes in France for the benefits they get thanks to French Internet users.

The French tax affects companies whose annual revenues exceed 750 million euros worldwide (about 845 million dollars); so that some 30 companies could be affected, mostly Americans, although the list also includes Chinese, British and German firms, reports Efe.

The punishment for France was announced on the same day as the reimposition by Washington of levies to Brazil and Argentina, two other historically allied US countries.

"Brazil and Argentina have applied a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers," Trump said in messages on his Twitter account.

"Therefore, effective immediately – he added – I will restore tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminum sent to the United States from these countries."

The two South American countries had been exempted by the US president from the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs that he imposed on his main trading partners in May 2018, after obtaining assignments from the authorities of both countries.

Then, the Government of Argentina announced that it would impose limits on its exports of aluminum and steel to the US; and days later, the Brazilian Executive accepted a quota agreement under which it admitted a 10% tariff on aluminum and limits on its sales of steel.

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