The way large U.S. firms are taxed in the European Union is posing major challenges for France, the country's finance minister told CNBC Thursday.
Bruno Le Maire, the recently appointed French finance minister, is at the forefront of an initiative to impose an "equalization tax" for tech companies across the EU — a potential new policy that is set to disrupt the way companies operate in Europe.
"We have a huge challenge with the question of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon)," Le Maire told CNBC at the Women's Forum in Paris. "You'll think that I am obsessed by the United States — that's not the case. We just want to have fair trade in the world," he said.
One of the biggest proposals is to tax companies on their revenues rather than on their profits. Taxing the latter would usually culminate in a smaller number. The idea with an "equalization" tax is to avoid firms taking advantage of different tax codes across the 28 European member countries, which has allowed many of them to pay little tax in some countries.