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.
Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the President to take all appropriate action including tariff-based and non-tariff-based retaliation to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts U.S. commerce.