Retaliatory tariffs on everything from grand pianos to anchovies could total almost $1 billion a year

Posted by Ana Monteiro

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U.S. forges ahead with plan to slap tariffs on nations that tax digital giants

The U.S. is pressing ahead with plans to hit six nations that tax Internet-based companies with retaliatory tariffs that could total almost US$1 billion annually.

Goods entering the U.S. — ranging from Austrian grand pianos and British merry-go-rounds to Turkish Kilim rugs and Italian anchovies — could face tariffs of as much as 25 per cent annually, documents published by the U.S. Trade Representative show. The duties are in response to countries that are imposing taxes on technology firms that operate internationally such as Amazon and Facebook.

In each of the six cases, the USTR proposes to impose tariffs that would roughly total the amount of tax revenue each country is expected to get from the U.S. companies. The cumulative annual value of the duties comes to US$880 million, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

There have been efforts to replace each individual country’s digital taxes with one global standard — to be brokered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — but a deal has yet to be reached.

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