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Trump admin to probe India’s digital taxes, wants to know if Modi is biased against US tech firms

Trump admin to probe India’s digital taxes, wants to know if Modi is biased against US tech firms

The Trump administration is starting investigations into digital services taxes considered by several trading partners from the European Union to India that could lead to tariffs being imposed on the countries’ exports to the U.S. The probe announced Tuesday encompasses digital taxes that have been either adopted or are under consideration in Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the EU, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K., according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington. The move seeks to determine whether levies on electronic commerce discriminate against American tech giants like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc.

A so-called section 301 investigation by USTR can take months before a decision is made on whether to impose tariffs. The U.S. used the same avenue to conclude wrongdoing by China that led to tariffs on some $360 billion in goods from world’s second-largest economy.

USTR has launched and completed a 301 probe into France’s digital services tax regime but held off on levying duties on the country as the two sides are negotiating a global regime at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A USTR spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Google declined to comment on the investigation but said the company is against “unilateral taxes.

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