The United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office has announced that it will hold a public committee meeting on August 19 at 09:30 (EDT/UTC-4). The development comes after the USTR announced it was going to investigate France’s newly-passed Digital Services Tax that would levy a 3% tax on very successful technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
According to the USTR, the deadline for filing requests to appear at the August 19 committee will occur on August 12 at noon EDT, those presenting a spoken testimony will also have to submit their written version of their testimony by this point too. For those submitting written testimony, the deadline is August 19. Following the meeting, post-hearing submissions can be filed by August 26.
With the law passing in the French Senate on Thursday, companies that earn more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million worldwide will be subject to the 3% levy. For those firms that it concerns, the law requires that they begin paying their share based on their revenues since the start of this year.
The USTR believes that the new law discriminates against U.S. companies against smaller ones which operate solely in France, and that it’s unreasonable because it diverges from the “norms” of the international tax system. From France’s perspective, however, these multinational corporations are currently killing off high street stores while operating from low-tax areas to avoid paying their fair share in tax. Subsequently, French coffers have been left without taxes from the newly unemployed or from the giant corporations that caused the unemployment of the high street workers in the first place.