European Union plans to slap revenue tax on Facebook, other Big Tech companies

26 March, 2018, 02:23 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Europe Just Dropped a Major Tax Bombshell to Get US Tech Giants to Pay Up

In a proclamation, Trump said the tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the six countries and European Union are suspended until May 1, 2018, pending discussions of satisfactory long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to United States national security.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had earlier told a Senate committee hearing that Trump had chosen to "pause" the imposition of metals tariffs for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico South Korea and "Europe".

Noting that Trump retains broad authority to further modify the tariffs, including by removing the suspensions or suspending additional countries, the White House said any country not now suspended remains welcome to discuss a possible suspension with the U.S. based on a shared commitment to addressing global excess steel and aluminium capacity and production.

Malmstrom, who returned to Brussels early Thursday, briefed European Union envoys on the situation ahead of the leaders' summit in which the prospect of a transatlantic trade war is a top agenda item.

The EU leaders' also discussed taxation, another topic that threatens to expose transatlantic strains.

"It is the president who decides this", she told MEPs.

Some leaders expressed caution at the announcement.

In a statement, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain backed the commission said that "in the absence of a global consensus" at worldwide level over how to tax digital companies "we need to move ahead at European Union level". "We have to see how it's formulated".

More news: Trump signs spending bill after threatening veto over immigration

The US is in discussions with the countries "on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of steel articles", and tariffs on steel imports from the trade partners will be exempt for now, it said.

Such a group would confront problems such as unfair Chinese trade practices, overcapacity in the steel market and the screening of foreign investment for security concerns, Ms. Malmstrom said.

Many countries, including those of the European Union, warned the White House that they would retaliate forcefully if they were hit with tariffs on metals products.

Then there are suspicions about what motives might be driving Moscovici and that he might be trying to make a name for himself and currying favour with reform-hungry French president Emmanuel Macron.

Earlier, Germany's economy minister said he had found officials in Washington "open to our arguments" when he visited to try and avert the tariffs.

"This afternoon, Trump will make an announcement on possible exclusions", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told European lawmakers in Brussels after her visit to the USA".

"If you have analyzed all the speeches by President Trump, he seems to think that, and I'm nearly quoting him, that the rest of the world is cheating the USA, that we have unfair trade practices", she added. "We need to continue to work with the U.S.in a friendly manner".

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