France's Macron tells global CEOs: we're open for business

Daniel Fowler
January 21, 2020

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to comment on his latest talks with Trump.

"We will work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation", he wrote.

While he was still hopeful of a deal by Wednesday, the minister said: "I do not hide the fact that it is very hard, it is one of the most hard negotiations that I have conducted, it is far from being a done deal".

The minister said France would "certainly not" give in to pressure to reduce to "nearly nothing" the 3 per cent tax France imposed on multinational tech giants' turnover from January 1 previous year, pending the adoption of an global tax regime under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

A White House readout of the call was notably more muted, saying only that the "two leaders agreed it is important to complete successful negotiations on the digital services tax" and "discussed other bilateral issues".

Davos Pushes ‘Greener’ Fuel for Private Jets Leaving World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum this year has taken pains to push a green agenda and to make the conference more sustainable. The prime minister will also speak to worldwide media during a session with the forum's global Media Council.

Macron tweeted: "Great discussion with @realDonaldTrump on digital tax". It takes up 3% of the turnover of the most major companies - especially American - linked to certain types of activities (online advertising, data marketing).

Washington said the tax singled out United States companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, and threatened duties of up to 100 per cent of the value of French imports of such emblematic goods as Champagne and Camembert cheese. This opened the door to the USA threat to retaliate against $ 2.4 billion of French goods.

The truce follows weeks of discussions between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, the alpine resort town where government officials and business leaders gather during the winter to discuss whatever is ailing the global economy.

They are expected to continue talks seeking a negotiated agreement in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

France has said it would drop its tax if an worldwide agreement is reached.

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