USA: Government suspends punitive tariffs against EU countries

In the dispute over a targeted taxation of US digital companies, the US government has now partially yielded - and temporarily punitive tariffs against several European countries and India exposed. While Washington and the states concerned are working to resolve the dispute, the sanctions will be lifted for an initial period of six months, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced on Wednesday. The background to this is the search for a regulation for the international taxation of large digital corporations such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. The repeal concerns Great Britain, Austria, Spain and Italy as well as the Turkey and India.

“The United States continues to seek consensus on international tax issues within the framework of the OECD- and achieve G20 processes, ”said Tai. Today's measures would serve as the basis for further negotiations. Meanwhile, Washington is keeping the option open to impose tariffs if this is justified in the future, added the Trade Representative.

The 25 percent tariffs on French goods worth $ 1,3 billion had already been suspended in January. These were also collected in the course of the tax dispute. The background to the debate is that large US digital companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are in Europe hardly pay taxes. The EU is therefore campaigning for a digital tax on sales at the level of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The G20 group of large industrialized and emerging countries commissioned the OECD in 2018 to agree on an international digital tax by the end of 2020. Under US President <br><br>Donald Trump there had been little progress on the matter at international level.

National plans - such as a digital tax in France - had also created transatlantic tensions. With Joe Biden's inauguration, Washington began vigorously to promote minimum corporate taxation worldwide.