Trump warns no free trade deal for UK unless digital services tax scrappedAug. 3, 2019
NEWS FROM OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
TRUMP WARNS NO FREE TRADE DEAL FOR UK UNLESS DIGITAL TAX SCRAPPED
Donald Trump’s US administration has warned the UK that it will not get a free trade deal unless a new tax affecting tech giants is dropped, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The UK government has announced plans to press ahead with plans to introduce a new 2 per cent tax on large tech companies’ revenues, while the French senate recently approved a digital services tax of 3 per cent.
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 the proposals are fiercely opposed by the US, which is why Europe-wide action is needed to prevent countries being ‘picked off’ one by one.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“Donald Trump’s opposition to digital services tax is well known, so it's no surprise that he has threatened action - first against France and now against the UK.
“We must work to build a fair, free and open digital world and that’s why countries are rightly looking at digital service taxes, especially when there is not enough transparency about how much tax large corporations are paying.
“But piecemeal action that is opposed by the US will allow countries to be picked off one-by-one by Donald Trump, which is why a Europe-wide solution is required.
“The EU and its partners should prioritise this so that we can build a digital economy for the many.”
NOTES TO EDITORS