Saudi cabinet approves higher committee for hydrocarbons

The decision was approved in a cabinet meeting chaired by King Salman. (SPA)
Updated 31 July 2018

Saudi cabinet approves higher committee for hydrocarbons

  • The Higher Committee for Hydrocarbon Affairs will include as members the energy minister as well as the ministers of trade, finance and economy
  • The higher committee for hydrocarbons will be headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would form a higher committee for hydrocarbons to be headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the state news agency SPA said.
The decision was approved in a cabinet meeting chaired by King Salman. The Higher Committee for Hydrocarbon Affairs will include as members the energy minister as well as the ministers of trade, finance and economy, the statement said.
“The committee will be a reference for all hydrocarbon issues and everything relating to them and a representative of the state’s rights linked to them,” the statement on SPA said.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.