The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that his office is beginning investigations into digital services taxes that have been adopted or are being considered by a number of countries. This includes the European Union, Austria, Brazil, Britain, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

The investigations will be conducted under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. This provision gives the USTR broad authority to investigate and respond to a foreign country’s action which may be unfair or discriminatory and negatively affect U.S. Commerce.

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

The announcement follows a 2019 investigation into France’s Digital Services Tax, which concluded that the measure discriminated against US companies.

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