RILA Testifies on Digital Services Tax

RILA to USTR: Abandon Tariff Strategy on Consumer Goods

This week, RILA’s Vice President of International Trade Blake Harden testified at the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) multi-jurisdictional hearing on proposed actions on section 301 investigations concerning digital services taxes.

In her testimony, Harden stressed that the imposition of any additional tariffs on imported goods will further punish American companies, consumers, workers and American families without obtaining the elimination of Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, or the United Kingdom’s digital services taxes.

From USTR’s proposed product lists, our members import goods such as cosmetics, perfumes, and shampoos from the United Kingdom; carpets, bed linens, curtains, tiles, kitchen fixtures and bathroom ceramics from Turkey; glassware, footwear, and seafood from Spain; and jewelry, seafood, basmati rice, and furniture from India.

“We fail to see how the imposition of an additional import tax on these products – which will be paid by Americans – will convince our trading partners to withdraw or reform their digital services taxes. At the same time, imposing these tariffs will severely harm the ability of U.S. retailers to compete globally.”

RILA believes the proliferation of digital services taxes requires a multilateral tax solution, not a unilateral tariff response. To that end, we appreciate the Administration’s demonstrated willingness to address the digital services taxes through multilateral negotiations at the OECD. We believe the OECD is the appropriate forum for achieving a negotiated solution and strongly support the Administration in these efforts.

Press Coverage:

·       Bloomberg: Amazon, Facebook Lobby Groups Urge Digital-Tax End, OECD Deal

·       Law360: New Tariffs Get Chilly Reception In Digital Tax Fight

For more information, please reach out to RILA’s Vice President of International Trade Blake Harden.

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