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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a press conference in Paris French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a press conference in Paris, June 10, 2020 (AFP Pool photo by Ludovic Marin via AP).

Rather Than Retaliate, Biden Should Work With France Over Its ‘Tech Tax’

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is about to inherit a trade dispute that gives him an early chance to show whether he is prepared to break not just with Donald Trump, but with the corporate-friendly trade policies championed by his Democratic predecessors. The outgoing administration is set to impose new tariffs over France’s recent decision to tax the revenue of U.S. digital giants like Facebook, Apple and Google, charging that the move discriminates against U.S. companies.

For Trump, the fight is a simple matter of protecting the profits of rich American companies against what he sees as a European cash grab. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton both would likely have come down on the same side; each president had a long history of championing the interests of Silicon Valley. Biden should go in a different direction. He should drop the tariffs and work with France and other allies to find cooperative solutions to the huge and growing problem of ensuring that modern corporations start paying their fair share of taxes to sustain the societies that allow them to earn such enormous profits. ...

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