Select Page

France and the United States have struck what the Trump administration and the French government are billing as a global framework for digital taxation that avoids a transatlantic trade war (according to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.)

But like the Phase 1 deal recently signed by the United States and China, this agreement actually settles nothing. It certainly isn’t a global framework for digital taxation. It’s a truce. An agreement to put off all decisions on digital taxes and on threatened U.S. tariffs on French goods until the end of 2020.

The French government has agreed to delay collecting a tax on multinational digital companies, such as Google (Alphabet) and Facebook  until the end of 2020. The United States has agreed to hold off on imposing the punitive tariffs on French goods it had threatened as retaliation.

I’d call it a punt at best. And that’s if both sides abide by the delay. (And now I have to figure out what to do with all the French cheese and champagne I bought in case the tariffs went through. I suppose I could just consumer it. What a sacrifice!!)