Bruno Le Maire will propose a “world minimum tax on companies” because “still too many multinationals escape tax, it is revolting”

The Minister of the Economy calls on Europe to defend its interests while a G7 of finance ministers is being held from Wednesday afternoon in Chantilly (Oise).

“Europe must learn to defend its interests”, defended Wednesday July 17 on France Inter the Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno the Mayor while a G7 of the Ministers of Finance is held from Wednesday afternoon in Chantilly (Oise). Bruno Le Maire will defend the idea of ​​a “World minimum corporate tax” car “There are still too many multinationals that escape tax. It’s revolting”, he said. “This minimum imposition of corporate income tax is an extremely powerful instrument of justice and efficiency”.

But unanimity is needed within the European Union on the subject, and the Minister of the Economy and Finance has lucidly estimated that “We will not make it”. He therefore proposes that “Financial decisions in the European Union are no longer taken unanimously, but by qualified majority”.

France Inter: You are going to defend a global minimum tax on companies. What does that mean ?

Bruno Le Maire: This means that there are still too many multinationals that are evading tax. It is simply appalling. You, me, your listeners, pay their direct or indirect taxes. They are not exempt from tax. No one can accept that large multinationals can have subsidiaries that make profits in one place, then repatriate them, either to tax havens or to states which practice tax dumping, that is to say which have an extremely low level of corporate tax. We want to fight this tax dumping, and we want to fight this tax evasion.

This means that if you repatriate your profits to a country that has a corporate tax of 2% or 3%, you will pay the ten points difference to the state where you are installed. It is a question of justice, and then it is also a question of fiscal efficiency, since our nurseries, our schools, our hospitals, we must finance them well. And if the large multinationals escape tax, we will no longer be able to finance them. This minimum imposition of corporate income tax is an extremely powerful instrument of justice and efficiency.

What are your G7 counterparts telling you about this?

The most surprising thing is that the United States has a minimum tax of 13%. This allows them to avoid this tax evasion because they are more restrictive than we are in Europe. Europe must learn to defend its interests. I hope that at the end of this G7, the principle of a minimum tax will be recognized. That we will come to an understanding to define a certain level. If the seven of us can already agree that tax evasion is enough and that a minimum tax is needed, that would be considerable progress.

And after that, we will need unanimity within the European Union. You believe in it ?

I will be very frank: we will not succeed. We have seen it clearly on the GAFA tax. Despite our best efforts, we convinced five states, then 19, then 24. And there were still four: Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. I am quoting them so that everyone takes their responsibilities. They opposed the implementation of this tax on the digital giants. With regard to minimum taxation, we know very well that at the end of the day, it will be exactly the same thing.

What we are proposing with the President of the Republic is that these decisions on taxation in the European Union no longer be taken unanimously, but by qualified majority.

We talk a lot about democracy in Europe, but democracy means that when a large majority of states want new taxation, well we put it in place.

This GAFA tax, precisely, worries the United States. Do you think the Americans can retaliate on this tax?

The United States has, for the first time in the history of our relations, opened section 301, that is to say the possibility of inflicting bilateral sanctions on France for a decision taken sovereignly by France.

The legal instrument exists and there is obviously the political will. What I am going to explain to my American counterpart Steven Mnuchin, with whom we have been working very well for two years, is that it is in the interest of the United States to implement this taxation of a new economic model which is based on on the creation of values ​​on data. We do not want to target American companies, we want to put in place a tax system adapted to the economic reality of the 21st century.