"Super profits": the general director of CMA-CGM warns about the effects of a tax on business competitiveness

“Super profits”: the general director of CMA-CGM warns about the effects of a tax on business competitiveness

“If I am sanctioned because I have to pay a special tax, what are my competitors doing?” asked Rodolphe Saadé on Tuesday, facing the deputies.

New round of hearings in the National Assembly on superprofits. This Tuesday, before the deputies of the flash mission on business taxation, the head of the tricolor giant CMA-CGM spoke, a few days after his counterparts from the Engie and TotalEnergies groups.

Si said he was open to discussions about additional efforts for household purchasing power and “not against taxesIn general, Rodolphe Saadé warned elected officials against the ill effects of a tax on “super profits“, advancing two arguments. First of all, “introduce a french surcharge“It would weaken the competitiveness of French companies, against competitors, particularly Asians, who would not care, he argued. “If I am sanctioned because I have to pay a special tax, what do my competitors do? There is no reason for me to be the only one, if a tax should be recorded. We must be fair with CMA-CGM“, the CEO hammered.

In addition, the large profits made by the operator are reinvested, in “90%“, in the company, the rest being returned to the shareholders, detailed Rodolphe Saadé. However, taxing profits is equivalent to limiting the group’s investment margin, while huge sums must be put on the table to prepare for the CMA-CGM energy transition. a tax onsuper profits“it would weaken the future, argued the leader”,in a crucial sector for the economy and sovereignty of our country“.

Instead of a purely French tax, the businessman advocated a global tax, otherwise French companies, including CMA-CGM, would be at a disadvantage. Otherwise, the tax should be at least European, or Brussels could decide to review the tonnage tax, which allows taxing not profits, but capacities deployed, and also affects Asian competition for ports on the continent. “I don’t want to have different tools than my competitors“, he insisted, adding that his group planned to invest, this year, 18 billion dollars.

The businessman’s opposition to a French tax on “super profitshas been known for a long time. “France is the only country that wants to tax shipowners. This tax would be an advantage given to my competitors“, he denounced already in July, in our columns. Before him, facing the deputies, the head of TotalEnergies had also issued a warning: “Our country suffers from deindustrialization […]. Everything you do in Parliament is heard by all investors“, launched Patrick Pouyanné, underlining that “signs that would be unfavorableinvestment would run the risk of limiting the attractiveness of nations.

SEE ALSO – Germany: Scholz wants to use corporate superprofits to reduce energy prices

“Efforts” already made

Despite record profits posted by his company since the beginning of the year, Rodolphe Saadé was cautious, recalling that freight rates, until recently pegged at $13,000 per 40-foot container between China and Europe, have collapsed. “Over the last two months, we have seen a reversal in the market“, he pointed out, emphasizing the aspect”cyclicof your activity. The leader also defended his company, pointed out by the “super profits» realized thanks to price increases: CMA-CGM has «does a lot to help the purchasing power of the French“, plot.

The last action to date, last July, CMA-CGM had announced a reduction of 750 euros in the freight rate per 40-foot container, “for all imports from Asia for all your customers in France“. A position that no competitor has followed, said Rodolphe Saadé. “I do it when I can. I already do a lot“, estimated. If the owner expected that this drop would be perceptible in the “price of products destined for final consumers“, its executive director was skeptical of the deputies. “How to distribute this envelope of 750 euros? It is up to the State to do what is necessary so that these 750 euros reach the final consumer“, he replied, when asked about prices in Réunion.

SEE ALSO – Super profits: “We can ask ourselves about the fairness of this situation”, says Yaël Braun-Pivet

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