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法国和美国在数字税威胁下寻求妥协

2020-1-11 14:41

法国财政部长布鲁诺•勒梅尔(Bruno Le Maire)警告美国,不要对新税进行任何报复。法国和美国正就前者提议的数字服务税争议寻求妥协。


法国政府表示,如果华盛顿以“高度不成比例”的关税来回应其征税,法国政府将予以反击。此举要求包括谷歌、Facebook和亚马逊(Amazon)在内的美国网络巨头提供更多资金。


去年,法国提议对在法国收入超过2500万欧元(2800万美元)、在全球收入7.5亿欧元的公司在法国获得的数字服务收入征收3%的税。


上周五,Le Maire致信美国贸易代表罗伯特•莱特希泽(Robert Lighthizer):“如果美国决定就法国的数字服务税对欧盟(EU)实施贸易制裁,在我们需要团结一致的时候,这将深刻而持久地影响大西洋两岸的关系。”


美国威胁要对法国进口的葡萄酒、奶酪、手袋和厨具征收高达100%的关税,称这种数字税不公平地歧视了美国企业。


牛津大学凯洛格商学院(Kellogg College, University of Oxford & Cass Business School, City, University of London)教授克里斯•罗利(Chris Rowley)表示,在美国去年对法国贸易逆差超过190亿美元的背景下,应该考虑这一争端。


罗利说:“从基本原则出发总是好的,特别是考虑到英国退欧后的贸易谈判,让我们不要忘记这不是关于‘自由贸易’,因为关税是关于保护主义的,法国和欧盟是这方面的大玩家。”


“同样,它也与‘转移定价’有关,跨国公司一直致力于在某些制度下减少或最大化税收敞口。”


两周目标


法国《市长报》(Le Maire)周二表示,法国和美国已给自己两周时间,试图解决围绕法国数字税的争端,并强调法国在这一问题上得到了欧盟(eu)的支持。


华威商学院(Warwick business School)国际商务教授奈杰尔•德莱菲尔德(Nigel Driffield)表示:“总体而言,许多欧盟国家政府受够了谷歌这样的公司,它们在本国赚取巨额利润,却不纳税。”


勒梅尔在巴黎与欧盟贸易专员菲尔•霍根(Phil Hogan)会晤后表示,各方已加大努力,“试图在经合组织内部就数字税达成妥协”。


霍根表示,在与华盛顿的数字争端中,欧盟委员会“将与法国站在一起”。


经济合作与发展组织(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,简称oecd)一直致力于建立一个向数字企业征税的国际框架。巴黎方面认为,一旦就数字税收达成国际协议,它将立即取代法国的税收。


据报道,其他欧盟国家也正在建立自己的国家数字税,意大利在立法方面进展相当快,奥地利和英国也在考虑征收类似的税。报道称,华盛顿和巴黎之间的冲突可能演变成一场更广泛的欧盟战争。


罗利说:“欧盟要做出某种形式的反应是非常困难的,因为这意味着欧盟本身实际上是团结的,而事实并非如此。”它由28个国家组成,很快就会变成27个,这些国家和经济体在贸易和美国方面的风险敞口各不相同。任何协议也将在国内激烈辩论的背景下达成。


“这不仅关系到欧盟的未来走向,可能是在中央集权的‘统制主义’的宏观框架下,而且实际上关系到它由净贡献者和接受者组成的预算。”


在周二于华盛顿举行的美国贸易代表听证会上,来自葡萄酒零售商、厨具制造商和手袋进口商等行业的代表警告称,企业和消费者将受到拟议关税的冲击。


铸铁炊具公司Le Creuset的法耶•古丁(Faye Gooding)表示:“拟议中的关税将真正使这家公司在美国难以为奇。”


纽约翠贝卡酒商(Tribeca Wine Merchants)的管理合伙人本•阿纳夫(Ben Aneff)表示,拟议中的关税将是“禁酒令以来葡萄酒行业面临的最大威胁”,“对数万家美国企业来说是灾难性的”。

 

France and the United States are seeking a compromise in a dispute over the former's proposed digital services tax after French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned the US over any retaliation against the new levy.

The French government said it will fight back if Washington introduces "highly disproportionate" tariffs in response to its tax, which demands more money from US online giants, including Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Last year, France proposed a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with revenues of more than 25 million euros ($28 million) in France and 750 million euros worldwide.

On Friday, Le Maire wrote to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer: "If the US were to decide to impose trade sanctions against the EU over the French Digital Services Tax, it would deeply and durably affect the transatlantic relationship at a time when we need to stand united."

The US has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on French imports, such as wine, cheese, handbags and cookware, claiming that the digital tax unfairly discriminates against US firms.

Chris Rowley, a professor at Kellogg College, University of Oxford & Cass Business School, City, University of London, said the dispute should be considered in the context of the US having run a trade deficit with France of more than $19 billion last year.

"It is always good to start from first principles, particularly in light of the post-Brexit trade negotiations-let us not forget that this is not about 'free trade' as tariffs are about protectionism, with the French and EU large players in this," Rowley said.

"Likewise, it is about 'transfer pricing', which global companies have always engaged in to reduce or maximize their tax exposure in certain regimes."

2-week target

France and the US have given themselves two weeks to try to resolve the row over the French digital tax, Le Maire said on Tuesday, emphasizing that Paris has the European Union's backing on the issue.

Nigel Driffield, professor of international business at Warwick Business School, said:"In general, many EU governments are fed up of companies like Google making huge profits in their country but paying no tax."

After a meeting in Paris with Phil Hogan, the EU's trade commissioner, Le Maire said efforts have been stepped up to "try and find a compromise, within the OECD, on digital tax".

Hogan said the European Commission "will stand together with France" in its digital dispute with Washington.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been working toward an international framework to tax digital companies and Paris argued that once there is an international agreement on digital taxation it would immediately supersede the French tax.

Other EU nations are reported to be establishing their own national digital taxes, with Italy quite advanced with its legislation and Austria and the United Kingdom looking at applying similar duties. Reports say the conflict between Washington and Paris could become a wider EU battle.

"In terms of some form of EU response, that will be very difficult as it implies the EU itself actually being united, which it is not," Rowley said. "It comprises 28-soon to be 27-very disparate countries and economies with varied exposure to trade and the US. Any agreement would also be in the context of the internal hot debates.

"These are not only about the EU's future direction, possibly under a centralizing, 'dirigisme' Macronian mantle, but also practically concerning its budget composed of net contributors and receivers."

During a US Trade Representative hearing in Washington on Tuesday, representatives from industries including wine retailers, cookware manufacturers and handbag importers warned that businesses and consumers would bear the brunt of the proposed tariffs.

Faye Gooding from Le Creuset, the cast-iron cookware company, said: "The tariff proposed would truly make this company not sustainable in the United States."

Ben Aneff, managing partner at Tribeca Wine Merchants in New York, said the proposed tariffs would be "the greatest threat to the wine industry since Prohibition" and "be catastrophic for tens of thousands of American businesses".

 

原作者: BO LEUNG 来自: china daily