Britain's Johnson backs digital tax despite Trump's ire

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:18s

Britain's Johnson backs digital tax despite Trump's ire

Britain is to press ahead with a digital services tax, even after a similar measure in France led the U.S. to threaten punitive tariffs.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.


Britain's Johnson backs digital tax despite Trump's ire

Donald Trump has a message for anyone who wants to tax big U.S. tech firms: hands off.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I'm not going to let people take advantage of American companies because if anyone's going to take advantage of American companies it's going to be us, it's not going to be France" It makes for some awkward encounters at this week's gathering of NATO leaders outside London.

Because French President Emmanuel Macron has already introduced a digital services tax, levied on the revenue of big international tech firms. Trump says that's aimed squarely at the likes of Google and Amazon.

His administration may impose tariffs on French goods in retaliation.

Now UK prime minister Boris Johnson says he too will press ahead with a similar tax.

Under the plan major tech firms will pay a 2% levy on the money they make from UK users.

That's certain to draw Trump's ire, though Johnson may see electoral advantage in defying the U.S. president.

The question is whether Washington will retaliate.

It says it could impose 100% duties on 2.4 billion dollars of French goods over its digital tax.

UK firms will be braced for a similar backlash.

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