PARIS • The threat of a new trans-Atlantic trade war diminished after 137 countries agreed to continue negotiations aimed at creating rules for taxing multinational technology companies that receive foreign revenue.
Officials meeting at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris agreed to convene again in July in Berlin to continue talks seeking to clinch a global accord by the end of this year, according to a statement last Friday.
“It is more urgent than ever that countries address the tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy, and the only effective way to do that is to continue advancing towards a consensus-based multilateral solution to overhaul the international tax system,” OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria said in the statement.
Amazon, Facebook and Google have strained existing rules to breaking point because such tech giants are able to book profits in low-tax countries no matter where their customers are located.
Progress on a global accord may cool tensions between European nations, which are concerned that current tax laws do not properly account for a worldwide, data-driven economy, and the United States, which does not want its tech companies to be treated unfairly.
American officials have threatened to impose tariffs on any country that institutes a digital tax, which would likely elicit retaliatory measures from the European Union.
France was the first European country to impose a digital services…
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