WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday about the importance of working together to find a solution in ongoing OECD discussions on international taxation , the Treasury said in a statement.
During their conversation, Yellen highlighted U.S. support for a strong economic recovery and explained the Biden administration’s broader plans to support jobs and investment in the United States, the Treasury said.
“The Secretary also expressed his support for measures to promote global recovery through multilateral mechanisms and support to low-income countries,” he said.
Nearly 140 countries are rushing to conclude talks by mid-2021 to modernize outdated rules on the extent to which governments can tax cross-border trade and set a global minimum corporate tax rate. Talks were stalled last year following a proposal by the former Trump administration to let companies escape new global tax rules, but Yellen has since dropped that request.
Yellen had stressed his commitment to reaching a global deal through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and will discuss the issue with his G20 counterparts when they meet virtually next week.
In January, the United States had already refrained from imposing threatened tariffs on $ 1.3 billion in imports of French champagne, cosmetics, handbags and other products in retaliation for the French digital tax, but said they could still impose them if the OECD negotiations did not lead to a comprehensive solution.
Biden’s chief trade negotiator Katherine Tai said last week the same applied to US tariffs threatened on goods from Austria, Britain, India, Italy, Spain and Turkey in retaliation for their respective digital service taxes.
Like the French tax, USTR tax surveys adopted by Austria, Britain, India, Italy, Spain and Turkey found them to be discriminatory towards U.S. technology companies and did not comply with international tax standards.