Washington- U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Washington retains the ability to impose retaliatory tariffs on countries that do not remove digital service taxes (DST), which it says discriminate against American technology companies.
“We share your goal of making discriminatory taxes on digital services a thing of the past. And we’ve made substantial progress here, ”Yellen told lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday by the Senate Finance Committee.
“We are pursuing absolutely all avenues to a quick and complete shutdown and return of our DSTs. Our partners are well aware of the importance of this issue, ”she said, adding that the“ discriminatory ”nature of these taxes is“ unacceptable ”to the United States.
“By delivering this message multilaterally, rather than through threats and retaliation, we have also prevented a range of trade disputes that are damaging American businesses, workers and consumers,” she said.
Yellen also noted that the country retains all options to discourage the use of DSTs, as the United States Trade Representative (USTR) initiated trade retaliation proceedings via a so-called Section 301 sanctions investigation. .
“We keep this tool available for use should it become necessary to obtain rapid action to eliminate DST. While we strongly hope to avoid trade disputes, this tool remains a useful lever to bring countries to the negotiating table, ”she said.
Yellen’s remarks came after the USTR office announced earlier this month that it would suspend retaliatory tariffs on certain goods from Austria, the UK, India, Italy, Spain and Turkey for six months to have additional time to complete the ongoing multilateral negotiations on international taxation, following the one-year Section 301 DST investigations adopted by the six countries.
“We are determined to resolve this issue, both for its merit and because it risks obstructing a unique opportunity to create a new international tax system to end these serious and long-standing transfer problems. corporate profits and tax competition, ”Yellen said. (IANS)