Canada finance minister says G7 deal on tech tax is 'within reach'

·1-min read
Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a news conference in Ottawa

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday a multilateral agreement on the taxation of tech giants was "within reach" and it should go hand in hand with a deal on a global minimum corporate tax rate.

Freeland will travel to London this week for a meeting of the finance ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations (G7). They are expected to reach a deal on a minimum global corporate tax, a draft communique showed.

The United States proposed last month to set the minimum tax at 15%, down from the 21% it proposed in April, but others have argued its proposal does not go far enough on the taxation of tech giants like Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc.

"I'm an optimist. We've been having good conversations along with our partners," Freeland told reporters, when asked about the digital tax issue. "The new U.S. administration ... has taken an approach of compromise and I think that really does mean a deal is within reach."

Freeland said if a multilateral deal on the tech tax issue was not reached, Canada would go ahead with its own planned digital services tax, although she reiterated that both issues should be dealt with.

"For us, what we're looking for is a deal on both pillars one and two," she said. "It's important for us that they go together."

(Reporting by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney)

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