Shunning international tax talks could trigger trade war: OECD

Failure to work towards an international deal on taxing big digital companies could trigger a dangerous trade war, the OECD said on Thursday, urging countries to remain engaged in talks after Washington announced it was pulling out of them for now.

“Absent a multilateral solution, more countries will take unilateral measures and those that have them already may no longer continue to hold them back,” OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said in a statement.

“This, in turn, would trigger tax disputes and, inevitably, heightened trade tensions. A trade war, especially at this point in time, where the world economy is going through a historical downturn, would hurt the economy, jobs and confidence even further,” he added.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Catherine Evans