Mar 21, 2018

Europe announces new tax proposal targeting US tech companies

The European Union has looked skeptically on large American tech companies. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Corbis via Getty Images

The European Commission proposed a new tax Wednesday that stands to hit major web companies like Google and Facebook. The new 3% tax on revenue applies to certain online businesses, including digital ads and ride-hailing, but The Wall Street Journal reports that not every country that's a member of the E.U. is on board.

Why it matters: It's the latest move in Europe to crack down on powerful American tech giants.

What the EU is saying: In a press release, the EU says the measure is intended to ensure digital companies "contribute their fair share of tax" since current tax rules weren't designed to account for virtual companies with little or no physical presence within borders.

What US tech firms are saying: While acknowledging tax changes should be made to reflect today's digital economy, tech trade association Information Technology Industry Council says the move "harms business certainty in Europe and would chill trade and investment from companies across the globe."

Go deeper: The Financial Times breaks down the potential impact of the proposal.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump was addressing a massive rally after arriving with members of the U.S. first family in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday for a two-day visit.

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is demonstrating the importance of the visit by holding a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 59 mins ago - World

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy