The Administration of the United States already teaches teeth to Spain, although the so-called Google Rate approved by the Government is for now only a bill with no intention of collecting until the end of the year. "If it finally imposes it, the United States will take all appropriate measures to defend our interests," an official spokesman for the US Embassy in Madrid assures EL MUNDO of the Council of Ministers' agreement.
He does not specify what they would be, but President Donald Trump has already established 100% tariffs in the face of a similar attempt by France that punished Gauls star products in the US market, from wine to luxury goods.
The US ambassador to Spain, Duke Buchan, is Trump's personal friend and has held several meetings with members of the Government against the Google Rate , but without avoiding the approval last Tuesday of the so-called Bill on Certain Taxes Digital Services that will still take a long process in Las Cortes. But the US warning to the Government and the deputies is clear: if they end up approving it without waiting for an international agreement like the one being negotiated between the US and major industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there will be sanctions Spanish export trade , which is vital that the current economic slowdown in the country is not aggravated.
The spokesman for the Embassy said that "the US rejects unilateral taxes on digital services" and that this position is the same for all countries that are launching the tax on US technology giants. He clarifies that the Administration of President Donald Trump does not preclude these emporiums from paying more taxes, but it does extend to a taxation on demand against them in different theoretically allied countries of Washington. "We remain committed to the process in the OECD to reach a consensus on the new international taxation rules and support efforts to reach a multilateral solution . " The objective is "a consensus solution that guarantees that all companies pay fair tax rates."
The problem, in his opinion, are initiatives such as that of the Spanish Government. “While we are addressing important and complex issues in the OECD, we are unfortunately seeing the disturbing tendency of some governments to politicize the issue . And it is especially clear in the unilateral establishment of the digital services tax ».
The consequences, according to the Embassy, are first of "damage to consumers, because the companies affected can pass the tax on users . " Also "curb innovation and global economic growth by incoherent and redundant fiscal obligations"; and, finally, "complicate the global consensus-seeking environment for new rules in the OECD."
The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, has assured, after talking with her French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, that the goal is to collect the new tax at the end of the year to give the OECD time to reach an agreement, but the Embassy sees negative that the legislation for the new tax is implemented, because it hurts the negotiation.
The president of the Chamber of Spain, José Luis Bonet , emphasized precisely this Wednesday that the Government had to wait for an international agreement. Bonet, who received King Felipe VI in an extraordinary plenary session of the cameral institution, asked not to "discourage" companies with "excessive" taxes and, on the contrary, encourage digitalization.
On the other hand, the Spanish business employers also reject the fiscal initiative. The Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) and the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (Cepyme), issued a statement against the draft Law on taxes on certain digital services and financial transactions.
As regards the digital tax for large companies to pay taxes in the Spanish market, CEOE and Cepyme consider that "it must be approached in a harmonized way from the EU to avoid affecting Spain's competitiveness".
"We also warn of the need, in any case, to avoid affecting Spanish companies that already pay taxes and that would be in a double taxation situation," they added.
As regards the tax on financial transactions, «it clearly punishes Spanish companies that operate in regulated markets within the country». And they warn: "You can end up expelling many investments to other countries or to unregulated markets."
Repsol "in daily contact with the US" by Venezuela
The Spanish group Repsol is "in daily contact with the US" so that it knows first-hand its activity in Venezuela and avoid misunderstandings. This is assured by knowledgeable sources of the performance of the oil company, which does not want to abandon its important interests in the Caribbean country, but also does not challenge US policy with the regime of Nicolás Maduro. The company presided by Antonio Brufau maintains that it complies at all times with the law in force in its activity in Venezuela so that it continues to operate and trying to recover the debt incurred in that country. The Maduro Government pays through oil deliveries to Repsol.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, avoided commenting on the possibility that the United States impose sanctions on Repsol for its interests in Venezuela, although he said he is confident that “all the issues that Spain wants to put on table". The head of the US State Department for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said last Tuesday that Repsol's activities may have to change after Washington's decision to impose sanctions on the Russian oil subsidiary in Venezuela, Rosneft Trading, for helping this Latin American country in the international oil trade. "We will have conversations, no doubt, more conversations with Spanish officials and Repsol, and we would expect, as we move forward, that some Repsol activities have to change, and that would also be true for other foreign oil companies in Venezuela."
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