News, Culture & Society

Boris Johnson vows to increase tax bills for tech giants

Boris Johnson vows to increase tax bills for tech giants despite fears the move could annoy Donald Trump

  • At the Nato summit, the PM made it clear he was prepared to stand up to the US
  • Trump has rowed with Emmanuel Macron over plans for tax on US tech giants
  • He believes American companies should be taxed by the US, not foreign powers
  • But the Prime Minister Johnson appeared to side with his European counterpart

Boris Johnson last night tried to distance himself from Donald Trump as he criticised his trade wars and defied him over a tax on Silicon Valley web giants.

On the first day of the Nato summit – just over a week before the General Election – the Prime Minister made it clear he was prepared to stand up to the US President.

Mr Trump has been embroiled in a row with Emmanuel Macron over French plans for a tax on the US tech giants.

Boris Johnson (pictured with Angela Merkel) last night tried to distance himself from Donald Trump as he criticised his trade wars and defied him over a tax on Silicon Valley web giants

The President believes American companies should be taxed by the US, not by foreign powers – and threatened to retaliate against France with new tariffs worth more than £1.85billion on products such as cheese, champagne, make-up and handbags.

But Mr Johnson yesterday appeared to side with his European counterpart, saying he ‘deplored’ trade wars and would campaign for free trade after Brexit. 

He also stood firm on taxing US internet firms, saying the companies should make a ‘fairer contribution’. 

The Tories have their own plans for a levy on major internet firms if they win a majority.

On the first day of the Nato summit – just over a week before the General Election – the Prime Minister (pictured with Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel) made it clear he was prepared to stand up to the US President

On the first day of the Nato summit – just over a week before the General Election – the Prime Minister (pictured with Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel) made it clear he was prepared to stand up to the US President

Mr Trump (pictured) has been embroiled in a row with Emmanuel Macron over French plans for a tax on the US tech giants

Mr Trump (pictured) has been embroiled in a row with Emmanuel Macron over French plans for a tax on the US tech giants

Asked about the issue on the campaign trail in Salisbury, Wiltshire, yesterday, Mr Johnson said: ‘I don’t think trade wars are a good thing.’ 

He added that the UK would ‘campaign for freer trade’ and ‘open up’ worldwide markets for British goods.

On the Tories’ plans for a digital service, the Prime Minister said the ‘huge revenues’ that big companies have in the UK and the tax they pay needs to be examined, adding: ‘We need to sort that out. They need to make a fairer contribution.’

Asked if he was embarrassed by Mr Trump’s support, the PM said no and emphasised the vitality of the ‘good relations’ he has with the President, as well as Mr Macron and Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

But Mr Johnson (pictured with Mr Macron) yesterday appeared to side with his European counterpart, saying he 'deplored' trade wars and would campaign for free trade after Brexit

 But Mr Johnson (pictured with Mr Macron) yesterday appeared to side with his European counterpart, saying he ‘deplored’ trade wars and would campaign for free trade after Brexit

This comes amid Labour claims – rubbished by the President yesterday – that the Tories are prepared to ‘sell off’ parts of the NHS to the US in a post-Brexit trade deal.

As the Mail previously reported, Mr Johnson and Mr Trump will not hold one-to-one talks during the visit, but will speak with other Nato leaders. 

Mr Johnson greeted Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump took aim at the French tax policy. 

He said: ‘I’m not in love with these companies… but they are our companies, they are US companies. They are not going to be taxed by France. 

If anyone is going to take advantage of US companies it is going to be us, not France.’ 

Mr Trump claimed France was ‘not doing well’ economically, and would suffer from retaliatory US tariffs.

Mr Macron is poised to impose a 3 per cent tax on any digital company generating more than around £20million in France. 

The tax will be back-dated to early 2019, and is expected to raise hundreds of millions of pounds. 

About 30 companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft will be hit.

The Tory manifesto commits to introducing a digital services tax. First proposed last year, it would raise around £400million. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.