On March 5th, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced that Paris would implement a digital service tax (DST), targeting mainly American multinational companies that generate more than €750 million annually, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, and Uber.
Republican Representative Kevin Brady immediately issued a statement condemning the announcement. It reads:
My view has remained consistent: new taxes targeted at cross-border digital services directly target U.S. companies. If France goes through with this tax, it would result in double taxation and violate longstanding norms, spurring a reaction in the United States that could very well include a review of American tax and regulatory policies to ensure a level playing field in global markets. The EU abandoned a similar proposal in December, and I strongly urge the French to do the same.
Brady is not alone in his criticism of such proposals. Americans for Tax Reform, other experts, politicians, and think tanks have consistently said that these tax proposals are designed to exclusively target American tech companies because of the potential for extra tax revenues that many European states are desperately seeking to keep their bloated social programs afloat. This is especially true in France. Rather than looking for ways to cut spending as responsible governments do, the French government attempted to raise taxes on fossil fuels and sparked a massive public backlash which has continued every weekend since October last year.