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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Trade Commissioner Hogan and MEPs warn USA not to overreact to Digital Tax, but pursue Dialogue

EU Trade Commissioner Hogan and MEPs warn USA not to overreact to Digital Tax, but pursue Dialogue

Written by ACM
Thursday, 19 December 2019
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- In the 1st ever Debate in EU Parliament on US possible reactions to Digital Tax, New EU Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan from Ireland, warned USA not to overreact, but Better pursue Dialogue through OECD and/or other ways.      

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- "it would be a matter of significant concern to the (EU) Commission  if the US should decide to introduce tariffs against the EU", in an "Unilateral" move, "for the 1st Time" in History,

- Similar methods "have previously been used only in response to unfair trading practices in China’s non-market economy in order to justify US tariffs against China", Hogan pointed out.

- But, here, on the Contrary, it's about "ensuring that Digital Companies pay their Fair Share of Taxes", he stressed. Already since 2018, EU Commission had "made 2 Proposals" : (A) "a Short-term Target", with "Digital Services Taxation", and (B) "a Long-term Comprehensive Solution", by "adjusting the Definition of a Permanent Establishment... to include Digital ...for Corporation tax", he Reminded. EU Parliament "supported the Digital ServicesTax", "Pending a Comprehensive Solution", he added. Because there are "increasing pressures ... faced by Member States to act, given the risk that their Corporate tax base is being Eroded significantly over Time and the perceived Unfairness of the situation", he explained.

AnOther Possibilty is to "accelerate Discussions at the OECD level to find a Global Solution on taxation issues, including a global Digital service taxation"

- But, Meanwhile, "unfortunately", the EU "Council did Not Find Agreement....on the Beginning of 2019", so that "                            "France and some other Member States then, proceeded to adopt or prepare National Digital service Taxes".

=> Then, "the USA started an ... Investigation on July 2019", which "is the 1st US investigation into a digital service tax, despite France being Neither the 1st, Nor the Only country that has adopted it".

- However, on August 2019, "on the margins of a G7 meeting in Biarritz", Presidents Trump and Macron Agreed "that France would continue levying the tax and would Reimburse companies if subsequently there was a difference between the French tax and the OECD Global solution'.

- But, "Despite that", "the US continued with its investigation with a negative determination on 2 December 2019, claiming that France’s digital service tax is unreasonable, discriminatory and burdens or restricts US commerce" : "This ...opens the route for Unilateral Measures, under US Law".


>>> But, the EU "Commission calls upon the US Not to break its obligations under international Law.... President von der Leyen made clear that the EU will Act and React as One, Against any                                          Unilateral measures outside the multilateral trading system. The EU will collectively Defend a Member State, If a trading Partner takes Unilateral trade Measures Against it !", he Warned.


- "It would be the 1st time that the US has used this instrument Against the EU, since the WTO was founded in 1995" ,

while, on the Contrary, "the US Statute envisages further Discussions as an option"... "So, we in the (EU) Commission will Keep on Pushing for these Discussions", Hogan concluded Today.

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+ In the subsequent Debate, French MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Speaking on behalf of the Groupe "ReNew", Criticised a "World Trade in "Troubled Waters", and Pleaded for "any Balanced World Trade Based into Rules".

- But, in Fact, we (EU) Faced Taxes on Aluminium and Steel, our Agriculture producers are under Customs, on the occasion of the Affair "Airus/Boeing", and Nowadays, there is also a Threat for Various "Heavy" measures Against Trade, she Criticized.

- It's Not True that this Digital Tax would be "Discriminatory". It only represents a Juste Remuneration for Digital services, she found.

=> EU searches a Negociated Solution inside the OECD, and we Support that. We don't want any Trade War. More Tensions will only provoke more Losers. We want Better Dialogue !", she concluded.=

+ "And EU Solidarity !", added also Irish ChristianDemocrat MEP Maria Walsh.

 


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    Strategically located between Paris and Prague, Strasbourg offered a natural location for the French and Czech EU 2008 and 2009 Presidencies to tune their agendas for a resolute European move towards Renewable Energies, during an exceptional Joint Parliamentary meeting on "Energy and Sustainable Development", co-organized here by the Presidents of EU Parliament, Hans Gert Poettering, French National Assembly, Bernard Accoyer, and Senate, Gerard Larcher, on November 20 and 21.

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