GAFA tax: Companies have received their tax notice

"Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," said Bruno Lemaire. Not to mention the possible wrath of the American authorities, the GAFA have already taken the lead. Here's how.   The negotiations on the digital tax at the OECD have come to naught. “We had suspended the collection of the tax until the OECD negotiations were concluded. This negotiation failed, so we will collect a tax on the digital giants next December, "explained Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, in mid-October. "Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," the Ministry of the Economy said today. Facebook and Amazon "are among the companies" which have been notified "in recent days", assures for its part the Financial Times. So after firing the first ones, what should the French authorities expect from now on? Has

A third African candidacy to lead the WTO

Eight candidates, including Genevan Hamid Mamdouh, will vie for the general management of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva in the context of the global economic crisis. Africa, which has never piloted the institution, shares divided with 3 representatives.
World Trade Organization (WTO)

As the deadline for announcements expired early Wednesday evening, three women and four men are in the running to replace Roberto Azevedo, who will leave in late August, a year before the end of his second term. A woman has never led the organization, which is facing an institutional crisis due to the US blocking the renewal of the judges of its appellate court.

Other problems, to the difficulties of reaching an agreement on the end of illegal fishing subsidies were added the ministerial postponement to 2021 and an unprecedented economic and world trade crisis due to the pandemic. Many countries have decided on restrictions.

Africa has so far been unable to unite behind a candidate, due to the effects of the pandemic on meetings and the director general's surprise resignation. Among its three representatives, only the Egyptian Hamid Mamdouh, 67, and also from Geneva, was on a list of three names validated a few months ago by the African Union (AU).

He claims to be the sole candidate of the African organization and that of the consensus between developed and developing countries. The WTO faces significant tensions between the United States and China due to their trade war.

Divisions around the AU

One of the reasons for these divisions is the status of a developing country that China can proclaim itself with the benefits that come with it. The United States, whose President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to force the country to leave the organization, wants broad reform, particularly on this issue.

In addition to this argument of consensus, the Genevese also claims his long experience of more than 35 years as a negotiator and then as a senior official at the WTO, before joining a law firm on commercial matters. Facing him, former Nigerian Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala believes that there is no controversy with the African Union itself. The African Union has not chosen a candidate. "

She expects her to designate one ‘in the next few days’. She herself can count on the support of the West African bloc and a coalition of African women.

A few hours before the deadline, the Kenyan Minister of Sports, Heritage and Culture, Amina Mohamed, added to this dispute. A great connoisseur of the WTO, of which she has chaired the three most important bodies in the past, the 58-year-old official was also head of Kenyan diplomacy until 2018. For a long time mentioned among the possible candidates, she will have waited almost until the end of the deadline provided by the organization, this Wednesday in the early evening.

Five non-African candidates

Several observers thought she would give up because of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the United States and her country, the first between Washington and an African state. Several members of the WTO are said to be opposed to her becoming director general because of the pressure that these talks could place on Kenya.

Five other candidates want to prevent the scenario of a first African director general since the launch of the WTO 25 years ago. Jesus Seade Kuri, a former deputy director general of the Mexican-Lebanese organization, South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, Tudor Ulianovschi, a former head of Moldovan diplomacy, and Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, former minister of the Saudi economy, have launched.

Former British trade secretary Liam Fox is also a candidate. This appointment is one of the consequences of Brexit since Great Britain has not been a member of the EU bloc for several months within the organization.

The resignation of Mr. Azevedo has shaken up the appointment process which takes many months. The head of the WTO is usually not chosen by an election, but by consensus among the 164 members, like all decisions within the institution. First, without agreement by the end of August, one of the deputy directors general would temporarily pilot the organization in Geneva.