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U.S. claims Austria, Spain, UK digital taxes discriminate against American companies

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)'s Office on Thursday claimed that digital service taxes (DSTs) adopted by Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK) discriminate against American companies and are inconsistent with the prevailing principles of international taxation.

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Topics: U.S.    AUSTRIA    SPAIN    UK    AMERICAN   

"USTR is not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time but will continue to evaluate all available options," the USTR's Office said in a statement after releasing findings of its Section 301 investigations into DSTs.

"The best outcome would be for countries to come together to find a solution," said outgoing USTR Robert Lighthizer.

The move came after the United States last week decided to suspend proposed tariffs on about 1.3 billion U.S. dollars worth of French products amid the DST dispute.

"A suspension of the tariff action in the France DST investigation will promote a coordinated response in all of the ongoing DST investigations," said the USTR's Office.

The USTR's Office also claimed last week that DSTs adopted by India, Italy and Turkey discriminate against American companies without taking any tariff actions.

In June 2020, the United States initiated Section 301 investigations into DSTs considered by 10 U.S. trading partners, including the European Union, Brazil and India.

The so-called Section 301, under an outdated U.S. trade law adopted in 1974, allows the U.S. president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries.

The global trading community has become increasingly concerned that the U.S. government's frequent use of Section 301 would go against the World Trade Organization rules, undermine the multilateral trading system and disrupt the global supply chain.

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