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Simon

France approves 3% tax on US tech giants - Trump threatens to retaliate with a new trade war

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Simon

Donald Trump threatens with punitive tariffs against EU and France following the approval in the French parliament of a 3% digital services tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

So why this strong response from the US and Donald Trump? I think it’s because of two main reasons:

Firstly, and the most obvious reason IMO, is because the US political establishment is heavily influenced by corporate lobbyists – TBH the whole US political discourse has been profoundly corporatized in recent decades – and that includes lobbying from the US tech sector. Just see this article from the Guardian on how the tech industry now dominates the US lobbying industry.

Secondly, these tech giants are a central part of the extensive and global spy network that the US government manage against both its enemies and allies. Leaks have for example shown how NSA's top-secret spy program Prism has direct access to Google Apple and Facebook servers. Obviously, any perceived threats against these tech giants cannot be tolerated by the US government – Trump’s response is just his usually blunt honesty/stupidity.

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