The US government is threatening Austria and five other states with punitive tariffs for their digital taxes.
Tai stressed that the United States continues to work for an “international consensus” on related tax issues within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Meanwhile, Washington will keep its options open, “including imposing tariffs.” She added that the US investigations against Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union and Indonesia will be stopped because they have not made a decision on digital taxes.
Introduction to the Trump era
The investigations began last June and are still under US President Donald Trump. A few days before the end of his post, Tay’s predecessor Robert Lighthizer released Trump Reports in which the thumb was lowered on the tax plans for Austria and the other five countries. Based on these reports, the government of the new US President, Joe Biden, is now threatening specifically to impose punitive tariffs.
In Austria, a tax has been imposed on online advertising revenue since last year, targeting specifically US internet giants such as Google, Apple or Facebook. The federal government is not hiding the fact that it wants to require US companies to pay more, which is seen as discrimination in the United States.