PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
DIGITAL SERVICES TAX ROW: SOLUTION IS EUROPE-WIDE ACTION
The row between the US, France and the UK about digital services taxes requires Europe-wide action, the Open Knowledge Foundation has said.
US President Donald Trump is threatening to introduce import taxes on $2.4billion worth of French goods, including cheese, champagne and handbags in retaliation for the country’s new digital services tax.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today vowed to press ahead with a similar 2 per cent tax in the UK from April next year. Amid the ongoing General Election campaign, the Labour Party has also promised a tax on ‘multinationals’.
Digital service taxes are designed to target large tech monopolies like Google and Facebook, amid ongoing concerns about the amount of tax paid by large corporations.
But with the proposals fiercely opposed by the US, any country taking unilateral action risks retaliatory tariffs.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said the solution is Europe-wide action to prevent countries being ‘picked off’ one by one:
“With new rules required to make the digital age fairer, countries like the UK and France are rightly looking at digital service taxes. It’s important that we build a fair, free and open future, which offers both the freedom of enterprise and the opportunity of empowerment.
“But piecemeal action by individual countries will allow them to be picked off one-by-one by the US, which is why a Europe-wide solution is required.
“I urge the new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to prioritise this, and to work with non-EU countries as well to take collective action to build a fairer digital future.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
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