BORIS Johnson has risked a major new row with Donald Trump after declaring US tech giants must pay “fairer contribution” of tax.
Ahead of a crucial set of meetings with the US President at today’s Nato summit, he slammed American firms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook for the lack of tax they pay compared to their “huge revenues”.
Mr Johnson said: ” I don’t think trade wars are a good thing. One of the things the UK is going to do is campaign for – when we take back control of our tariffs, which we will on January 31st, I hope, I know – we will campaign for freer trade.”
That has triggered the US President to threaten 100 per cent tariffs on French products.
The Tory manifesto pledges to bring in a similar digital services tax on tech firms, from April next year.
Explaining why, Mr Johnson said yesterday: “I do think we need to look at the operations of the big digital companies and the revenues they make in the UK and the amount of tax they pay.”
“We need to sort that out and make sure they make a fairer contribution.”
But yesterday a powerful American lobby group warned that Mr Johnson’s plans for the so-called ‘Google tax’ would risk stalling post-Brexit trade negotiations with the US.
The BritishAmerican Business group said the levy would “distract from efforts towards a future bilateral trade agreement with the US, which sees it as a targeted measure aimed at US tech giants”.
It added: “This tumultuous political context makes it imperative that the UK reconsiders its approach.”