French MPs Approve Digital Tax, Defying US Ire

French lawmakers on Monday approved a new tax on Electronic giants such as Facebook and Apple Who has angered the United States, with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire Demonstrating that France was proud to be in the vanguard of such a move.

The United States has urged its NATO ally to shed the program, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warning last week that it might hurt both American companies as well as the French citizens using the platforms.

The measure has been approved by 55 votes from four at the National Assembly, with five abstentions. It is going to then be put to vote in the Senate, or upper house, prior to becoming law.

The legislation, dubbed”Gafa” after Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, comes amid rising public outrage in the minimum tax paid by some of the planet’s wealthiest firms.

“France is honoured to be leading on such subjects,” Le Maire informed parliament before the vote, stating that the draft comprised a”step… towards a fairer and more efficient taxation for the 21st century.”

Responding to this criticism from the USA, Le Maire said France had been”determined” to press with the legislation and would be”autonomous” on financial issues.

He explained it had been”improper” that electronic giants could earn considerable profits from consumer information so that the”profits are made in France but the taxes are enforced overseas”.

Last month, France unveiled the draft legislation to establish a 3 percent tax on electronic advertising, the sale of personal data and other revenue for any technology firm that earns over EUR 750 million ($840 million) globally each year.

France is seeking to agree the legislation on a federal level after a European Union-wide effort was scuttled from low-tax countries such as Ireland, which have wooed large technology companies.

But Le Maire insisted that a”good solution in the long term is going to be a multilateral solution,” vowing not to let up in efforts to get an agreement within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


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