As published on irishtimes.com, Friday January 31, 2020.
The threat of a new transatlantic trade war diminished on Friday after 137 countries agreed to continue negotiations aimed at creating rules for taxing multinational technology companies that receive foreign revenue.
Officials meeting at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris agreed to convene again in July in Berlin to continue talks aimed at clinching a global accord by the end of 2020, according to a statement.
“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 toward a consensus-based multilateral solution to overhaul the international tax system,” Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD, said in a Friday statement.
Progress on a global accord may cool tensions between European nations that are concerned current tax laws don’t properly account for a global, data-driven economy, and the US, which doesn’t want its technology 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. – Bloomberg