Proposed 25% Tariffs on Section 301 Digital Service Taxes – Comment Now

Digital economy and society in the EU

Background on Section 301 Digital Service Taxes

In 2020, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated Section 301 investigations with respect to certain Digital Service Taxes (“DSTs”) being adopted or under consideration by a number of countries. DSTs are taxes on revenues that certain companies generate from providing certain digital services to users in those jurisdictions. According to USTR, available evidence suggests that DSTs are expected to target large, U.S.-based technology companies.

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US Imposes Additional Tariffs on EU Goods

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), announced the revision of its Section 301 Action: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute (86 FR 674).

 

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USTR Announces China 301 Tariff Exclusion Extensions for COVID-Related Products

On December 29, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced long-awaited extensions to a limited set of previously granted exclusions (for COVID-related products), that were set to expire on December 31, 2020. Meanwhile, importers across non-COVID industries are continuing to await guidance on their tariff exclusion extensions that are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

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LIST 3 Exclusion Updates

On June 24, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) provided the public with an exclusion process for items included subjected to Section 301 Tariffs. Specifically, the exclusions related to products included on List 3, which went into effect on September 24, 2018.

Originally, List 3 imposed 10 percent ad valorem duties on 5,757 full and partial subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and had an annual trade value of $200 Billion. Months later, in May 2019, the 10 percent ad valorem duties were increased to 25 percent. […]

List 4 Exclusion Update

On  June 26, July 17, and August 11, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 4.

When the list was announced on August 20, 2019, it imposed a 10 percent ad valorem on 3,805 full and partial subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion. Then, on August 30, 2019, USTR increased the rate of the additional duty announced in the August 20 notice from 10 to 15 percent. Finally, on January 22, 2020, USTR determined to reduce the rate from 15 to 7.5 percent. […]

Using WROs to Fight Forced Labor

Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 Billion. Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, etc.

Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working to curb this inhumane practice.

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NEW LIST 2- SECTION 301 EXTENSIONS

On June 25, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 2, which went into effect on August 23, 2018.

List 2 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 279 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and had an annual trade value of $16 Billion.

On September 18, 2018, USTR provided the public with an exclusion process; then September 2019, USTR granted a number of exclusions that were set to expire on September 20, 2020. In the June 25th Notice, commenters were asked a variety of questions relating to their supply chains, such as…

whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries; any changes in the global supply chain since August 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments; and efforts, if any, importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since August 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

The June 25th announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that requests for exclusion extensions were to be submitted no later than […]

NEW List 1- Section 301 Extensions

On June 3, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 1, which went into effect on July 6, 2018, and had an annual trade value of $34 Billion.

List 1 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 818 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The June 3 announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that submissions were to be made no later than July 7, 2020. Less than three months later, on September 20, 2020, USTR announced its determination to extend certain exclusions through the end of the year.

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Exclusion Extensions Granted for List 4A

On September 2, 2020, via Federal Register Notice, the United States Trade Representative formally announced its determination to extended certain previously granted exclusion requests through the end of the year; December 31, 2020.

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6th Round of Section 301 Tariff (List 1) Exclusions Extended

Just over two years ago, on July 6, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) levied an estimated $34 Billion in Tariffs (also known as Tranche 1 or List 1) or against imports into the U.S. from the Chinese Communist Party due to the US’ Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.

Following the publication of the tariffs, on July 11, 2018, USTR published Exclusion Process Procedures for items included on List 1. Petitioners were required to submit their requests by October 9, 2018, and USTR began granting exclusions in December 2018. Since the initial imposition of the Section 301 duties, USTR has granted 10 rounds of exclusions totaling more than 6,200 requests for List 1. Additionally, there are still more than 6,500 exclusion requests still pending approval for the Action taken on August 20, 2019.

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