December 02, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, global tech trade association ITI released the following statement in response to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) report on its Section 301 investigation into France’s digital services tax:

“We applaud USTR’s efforts to investigate France’s digital services tax and welcome the result of its examination,” said Jennifer McCloskey, ITI’s Vice President of Policy. “Critically, USTR recognized the discriminatory aspects of the French digital services tax and intends to prepare a strong trade response should the measure remain in place. We hope to avoid this outcome. Once again, we respectfully urge the United States, France, and all participating governments to focus on a successful and lasting tax policy resolution at the OECD.”

Sections 301-310 of the Trade Act of 1974, commonly referred to as Section 301, provide USTR with legal authority to seek to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes, and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. Once the U.S. government initiates a Section 301 investigation, USTR seeks a negotiated settlement with the country concerned. Absent agreement on an acceptable solution, and where a country’s obligations under a trade agreement are implicated, the law requires that USTR bring a formal dispute under that trade agreement. In other instances, Section 301 provides USTR with the authority to impose trade sanctions on economies that it deems to be implementing unfair trade practices.