US earmarks new 25% tariffs on goods from six countries

Photo: AP

US announced it would set new tariffs of 25 percent related to goods valued at some 2 billion dollars originating from six countries as response to the imposed digital taxes in those states, Reuters reported. Shortly after the announcement US elaborated it would suspend the duties to pave the way for international negotiations over the taxes.

US Trade Representative's office said it had approved the threatened tariffs on goods from Britain, Italy, Spain, Turkey, India and Austria after a "Section 301" investigation concluded that their digital taxes discriminated against US companies. USTR published lists of imports from the six countries that would face tariffs if international tax negotiations fail to reach a solution that prohibits countries from imposing unilateral digital services taxes. USTR said it would impose 25% tariffs on about $887 million worth of goods from Britain, including clothing, overcoats, footwear and cosmetics, and on about $386 million worth of goods from Italy, including clothing, handbags and optical lenses. USTR said it would impose tariffs on goods worth $323 million from Spain, $310 million from Turkey, $118 million from India and $65 million from Austria.

The potential tariffs, based on 2019 import data, aim to equal the amount of digital taxes that would be collected from US firms, a USTR official said.

The move underscores the US threat of retaliation as finance leaders from G7 countries prepare to meet in London on Friday and Saturday to discuss the state of tax negotiations, including taxation of large technology companies and a U.S. proposal for a global minimum corporate tax.

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