indica News Bureau-
For President Donald Trump, it seems like all the nations of the world are against him. Amidst all the chaos that is happening in the country, from the COVID-19 to the George Floyd’s protest which is ravaging the country, Trump’s administration is not happy with how foreign countries are imposing digital taxes on US companies.
On Tuesday, US Trade Representatives (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said that ‘President Trump is concerned that many of our trading partners are adopting tax schemes designed to unfairly target our companies.”
Following this statement, the US administration has initiated an investigation into India’s Digital Services Law adopted in March 2020, on suspicions of being ‘unfair’.
The USTR announced that this investigation will be done under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.
Other countries against whom the investigations might be initiated include Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
“We are prepared to take all appropriate action to defend our businesses and workers against any such discrimination,” said Lighthizer.
The Indian government has so far not commented officially on the USTR investigation. From April 1, India imposed a new 2% tax on foreign billings or transactions where companies take payment abroad for digital services provided in India. The tax also applies to foreign e-commerce transactions on sites such as Amazon.com.
The tax is also levied on advertising revenue earned by companies overseas if those ads eventually target customers in India.
This tax applies only to companies with annual revenues in excess of approximately USD 250,000.
Trump administration opposes the efforts to tax revenues from online sales and advertising, saying they single out US tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix.
“We are prepared to take all appropriate action to defend our businesses and workers against any such discrimination,” added Lighthizer.
Since the time he took to office in 2017, Trump has embroiled the US in numerous trade disputes with different nations.