USTR Section 301 Investigations Target Digital Services Tax

USTR Section 301 Investigations Target Digital Services Tax

2019-12-04T16:11:08+00:00December 4th, 2019|Customs, Export, Import, Industry Spotlight|

On Monday, December 2, 2019 the Office of United States Trade Representative released findings from a Section 301 investigation against France’s Digital Services Tax (DST) for discrimination against U.S. companies, inconsistency with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and creating unusual burdens for affected U.S. companies.

In a Federal Register notice, the USTR requests comments from the public on proposed punitive duties of up to 100 percent on certain French products as well as potential fees and restrictions on French services. The list of French products subject to potential duties includes 63 tariff subheadings at an approximate trade value of $2.4 billion.

Report on France’s Digital Services Tax Prepared in the Investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974

Further, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned of further inquiry into digital service tax programs that violate right of U.S. companies, such as, Austria, Italy, and Turkey.

“USTR’s decision today sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies,” said Robert Lighthizer. “Indeed, USTR is exploring whether to open Section 301 investigations into the digital services taxes of Austria, Italy, and Turkey. The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly targets U.S. companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading U.S. digital services companies.”

The USTR invites public comment and must be submitted by January 6, 2020 and post-hearing rebuttal comments by January 14, 2020.

PUBLIC HEARING

The Section 301 Committee will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 AM on January 7, 2020 regarding proposed action to be taken in the investigation against France’s DST.

The hearing will take place in the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. USTR expects to proceed expeditiously thereafter.

Initiation of a Section 301 Investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax – July 16, 2019

Section 301 Hearing in the Investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax – August 19 Panel Schedule

Section 301 Hearing in the Investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax Transcript– August 19, 2019

Report on France’s Digital Services Tax– December 2, 2019

Notice of Determination and Request for Comments Concerning Action Pursuant to Section 301: France’s Digital Services Tax– December 2, 2019

preliminary list of french products

0403.10.90 – Yogurt, not in dry form, whether or not flavored or containing add fruit or cocoa

0404.10.05 – Whey protein concentrates

0405.10.10 – Butter subject to quota pursuant to chapter 4 additional US note 6

0405.10.20 – Butter not subject to general note 15 and in excess of quota in chapter 4 additional U.S. note 6

0405.90.10 – Fats and oils derived from milk, other than butter or dairy spreads, subject to quota pursuant to chapter 4 additional US note 14

0406.10.84 – Fresh cheese, and substitutes for cheese, cont. cows milk, nesoi, o/0.5% by wt. of butterfat, descr in add US note 16 to Ch 4, not GN15

0406.10.88 – Fresh cheese, and substitutes for cheese, cont. cows milk, nesoi, o/0.5% by wt. of butterfat, not descr in add US note 16 to Ch 4, not GN 15

0406.10.95 – Fresh cheese, and substitutes for cheese, not cont. cows milk, nesoi, o/0.5% by wt. of butterfat

0406.20.10 – Roquefort cheese, grated or powdered

0406.30.48 – Edam and gouda cheese, processed, not grated or powdered, not subject to gen note 15 or add. US note 20 to Ch. 4

0406.30.51 – Gruyere-process cheese, processed, not grated or powdered, subject to add. US note 22 to Ch. 4

0406.30.53 – Gruyere-process cheese, processed, not grated or powdered, not subject to gen note 15 or add. US note 22 to Ch. 4

0406.30.89 – Processed cheese (incl. mixtures), nesoi, w/cow’s milk, not grated or powdered, subject to add US note 16 to Ch. 4, not GN15

0406.40.54 – Blue-veined cheese, nesoi, in original loaves, subject to add. US note 17 to Ch. 4

0406.90.08 – Cheddar cheese, nesoi, subject to add. US note 18 to Ch. 4

0406.90.12 – Cheddar cheese, nesoi, not subject to gen. note 15 of the HTS or to add. US note 18 to Ch. 4

0406.90.16 – Edam and gouda cheese, nesoi, subject to add. US note 20 to Ch. 4

0406.90.41 – Romano, Reggiano, Parmesan, Provolone, and Provoletti cheese, nesoi, from cow’s milk, subject to add. US note 21 to Ch. 4

0406.90.42 – Romano, Reggiano, Parmesan, Provolone, and Provoletti cheese, nesoi, from cow’s milk, not subj to GN 15 or Ch4 US note 21

0406.90.46 – Swiss or Emmentaler cheese with eye formation, nesoi, subject to add. US note 25 to Ch. 4

0406.90.48 – Swiss or Emmentaler cheese with eye formation, nesoi, not subject to gen. note 15 or to add. US note 25 to Ch. 4

0406.90.56 – Cheeses, nesoi, from sheep’s milk in original loaves and suitable for grating

0406.90.57 – Pecorino cheese, from sheep’s milk, in original loaves, not suitable for grating

0406.90.90 – Cheeses & subst. for cheese (incl. mixt.), nesoi, w/ or from swiss, emmentaler or gruyere, subj. to add. US note 22 to Ch.4, not GN15

0406.90.95 – Cheeses & subst. for cheese (incl. mixt.), nesoi, w/cows milk, w/butterfat o/0.5% by wt, subject to Ch 4 US note 16 (quota)

0406.90.97 – Cheeses & subst. for cheese (incl. mixt.), nesoi, w/cows milk, w/butterfat o/0.5% by wt, not subject to Ch4 US note 16, not GN15

0406.90.99 – Cheeses & subst. for cheese (incl. mixt.), nesoi, w/o cows milk, w/butterfat o/0.5% by wt, not GN15

2204.10.00 – Sparkling wine, made from grapes

3304.10.00 – Lip make-up preparations

3304.20.00 – Eye make-up preparations

3304.30.00 – Manicure or pedicure preparations

3304.91.00 – Beauty or make-up powders, whether or not compressed

3304.99.50 – Beauty or make-up preparations & preparations for the care of the skin, excl. medicaments but incl. sunscreen or sun tan preparations, nesoi

3401.11.10 – Castile soap in the form of bars, cakes or molded pieces or shapes

3401.11.50 – Soap, nesoi; organic surface-active products used as soap, in bars, cakes, pieces, soap-impregnated paper, wadding, felt, for toilet use

3401.19.00 – Soap; organic surface-active products used as soap, in bars, cakes, pieces; soap-impregnated paper, wadding, felt, not for toilet use

3401.20.00 – Soap, not in the form of bars, cakes, molded pieces or shapes

3401.30.10 – Organic surface-active products for wash skin, in liquid or cream, contain any aromatic/mod aromatic surface-active agent, put up for retail

3401.30.50 – Organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in liquid or cream form, put up for retail sale, nesoi

4202.21.30 – Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of reptile leather

4202.21.60 – Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of leather, composition or patent leather, nesoi, n/o $20 ea.

4202.21.90 – Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of leather, composition or patent leather, nesoi, over $20 ea.

4202.22.15 – Handbags, with or without shoulder straps or without handle, with outer surface of sheeting of plastics

4202.22.40 – Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of textile materials, wholly or in part of braid, nesoi

4202.22.45 – Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of cotton, not of pile or tufted construction or braid

4202.22.60 – Handbags with or w/o shoulder strap or w/o handle, outer surface of veg. fibers, exc. cotton, not of pile or tufted construction or braid

4202.22.70 – Handbags with or w/o shoulder strap or w/o handle, with outer surface containing 85% or more of silk, not braided

4202.22.81 – Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of MMF materials

4202.22.89 – Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of textile materials nesoi

6911.10.10 – Porcelain or china hotel, restaurant & nonhousehold table and kitchenware

6911.10.15 – Bone china household table & kitchenware valued n/o $31.50/doz. pcs.

6911.10.25 – Bone china household table & kitchenware valued o/$31.50/doz. pcs.

6911.10.35 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) househld tabl. & kitch.ware in sets in which aggregate val. of arts./US note 6(b) n/o $56

6911.10.37 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) househld tabl. & kitch.ware in sets in which aggregate val. of arts./US note 6(b) o/$56 n/o $200

6911.10.38 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) househld tabl. & kitch.ware in sets in which aggregate val. of arts./US note 6(b) o/$200

6911.10.41 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) household steins w/pewter lids, decanters, punch bowls, spoons & rests, salt/pepper sets, etc.

6911.10.45 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) household mugs and steins w/o attached pewter lids

6911.10.52 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) hsehld tabl/kit.ware n/in specif.sets,cups o/$8 but n/o $29/dz, saucers o/$5.25 but n/o $18.75/dz, etc.

6911.10.58 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) hsehld tabl/kit ware n/in specif. sets, cups o/$29/dz, saucers o/$18.75/dz, bowls o/$33/dz, etc.

6911.10.60 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) household serviette rings

6911.10.80 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) household tableware & kitchenware, not in specified sets, nesoi

6911.90.00 – Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) household and toilet articles (other than tableware or kitchenware), nesoi

7323.92.00 – Cast iron, table, kitchen or o/household arts. and parts thereof, enameled

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