Today, ATR President Grover Norquist sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in support of the Section 301 investigation into the French digital services tax. The full text of the letter can be seen below, and here


Dear Representative Lighthizer: 

I support and commend your efforts to initiate a 301 investigation into the French Government’s Digital Services Tax. 

France is trying to cheat the international rules governing taxable jurisdictions. It is the dream of every politician to tax people who cannot vote him or her out of office. 

The French government designed this tax in a way to exclusively target American companies as there is no comparable digital industry in France and the European Union. The tax will impose a huge financial burden on American companies and workers. 

The French Digital Services Tax poses unprecedented dangers to tax competition, innovation, and American and European economic growth. The new tax represents a dramatic and irreversible shift for the international tax system. We hoped that the escalation of this issue could be avoided. The tax damages the transatlantic relationship and could lead to a spiral of retaliation. 

It is of the utmost importance for the United States to make its voice heard on every level and to take stronger action in order to counsel France and the other European countries that are passing similar taxes to refrain from their unilateral actions and commit to the OECD negotiations. 

The focus should now be on multilateral solutions that are being developed by the OECD at a global level, but as always, we strongly caution against tariff remedies. 

I thank you again and encourage you to continue this process. Should you have any questions or comments please contact Andreas Hellmann at [email protected]