France won’t scrap tax on tech giants, despite Trump threats

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PARIS (AP) – France is pushing ahead with a landmark tax on tech giants like Google and Facebook despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliatory tariffs on French wine.

After Trump slammed the “foolishness” of the tax in a tweet Friday and promised reciprocal action, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said “France will implement” it anyway.

According to Le Maire’s office, he added, “the universal taxation of digital activity is a challenge that concerns us all.” He said the tax is meant as a temporary measure pending negotiations on an international tax deal.

The French measure does not only target U.S. companies, and only concerns revenues within France, notably of companies that use consumer data to sell online advertising.

It’s designed to stop multinationals from avoiding French taxes by setting up European headquarters in low-tax EU countries.

FILE – In this Thursday, June 6, 2019 file photo French President Emmanuel Macron, left, meets U.S President Donald Trump during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. President Donald Trump promised on Friday July 26, 2019 to retaliate against France for adopting a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Trump said referring to French President Emmanuel Macron: “We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly.”(Ian Langsdon/POOL via AP, File)
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