Last reviewed 10 June 2021

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced additional tariffs on certain goods from a number of countries, including the UK, but has then immediately suspended their imposition.

USTR Katherine Tai explained that the new tariffs followed a year-long investigation of the introduction of Digital Service Taxes (DSTs) by the countries concerned.

They have been suspended for up to 180 days to provide additional time to complete the ongoing multilateral negotiations on international taxation at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in the G20 process.

The USTR originally initiated investigations into DSTs adopted or under consideration in 10 jurisdictions: Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the EU, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

She determined that the DSTs adopted by Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK discriminated against US digital companies, were inconsistent with principles of international taxation and “burdened US companies”.

Detailed reports on the findings in the investigations are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/section-301-digital-services-taxes.

Ambassador Tai said: “The United States is focused on finding a multilateral solution to a range of key issues related to international taxation, including our concerns with digital services taxes.”

The Notice of Action concerning the UK, which includes details of the range of products subject to the putative tariffs, can be found at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/UK_DST_Action.pdf.