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US Alerts EU On Digital Services Taxes

Yesterday, the US went on the offensive in the ongoing fracas between Europe and the USA over the imposition of taxes on the digital tech giants.

“President Trump is concerned that many of our trading partners are adopting tax schemes designed to unfairly target our companies,”  said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, “we are prepared to take all appropriate action to defend our businesses and workers against any such discrimination.”

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) is launching a Section 301 investigation into digital services taxes adopted or under consideration by other countries.

This could lead to heavy tariffs being imposed by the US as happened when the French proposed a 3% tax on digital services and the US countered with the treat of 100% tariffs on French wine and handbags. The French backed down.

Several European countries are considering a digital-services tax. The USTR said the Section 301 investigation would look at versions of such a tax being considered by Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Britain.

The USTR has asked for talks with all these governments.

The USTR said the investigation would initially focus on whether the taxes discriminate against US companies, are unfairly retroactive and “possibly unreasonable” in that they diverge from international norms.

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source: electronicweekly

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