US imposes tariffs for six countries on top of digital taxes

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On Wednesday, the Biden administration moved closer to imposing tariffs on certain goods from six countries in response to taxes that those countries have imposed on digital services offered by companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The United States finally drew up a list of products that would be subject to tariffs, but immediately suspended the collection for 180 days while international tax negotiations continued.

The 25 percent tariffs will apply to around $ 2.1 billion worth of goods from Austria, the UK, India, Italy, Spain and Turkey, the administration said.

The Trump administration began investigating digital services taxes in these countries in June 2020, and the US had a one-year deadline to take action.

The announcement comes at a time when countries around the world are trying to reach agreement on a number of international tax issues. These negotiations are being conducted through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Catherine Tai, US Trade Representative, said Wednesday’s action “gives time for these negotiations to continue, while preserving the possibility of tariffs” if needed at a later date.

“The United States is focused on finding a multilateral solution to a number of key international tax issues, including our concerns about taxes on digital services,” Ms. Tai said. “The United States remains committed to building consensus on international tax issues through the OECD and G20 processes.”

In addition to the six countries named on Wednesday, France has also been targeted by potential retaliatory tariffs from the United States on digital services tax. The Trump administration planned to impose tariffs on $ 1.3 billion of French goodsincluding cosmetics, handbags and soap, but in January it suspended tariffs indefinitely.

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