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December 18, 2019
New Section 301 Action in response to France’s Digital Services Tax

On December 2, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a press release advising the trade of its completion of the first segment of its investigation on France’s new Digital Services Tax (DST). Signed into law by the French government on July 24, 2019, the DST places a 3% levy on certain revenues earned by companies providing digital services to residents in France. The USTR concluded that the DST places an unfair burden on large United States digital companies by basing the levy on revenue rather than income. As a result, the USTR is proposing new additional tariffs of up to 100% on products of France under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Affected products include sparkling wine, cheese, beauty products, handbags, and tableware (not an all-inclusive list). A complete list of products can be found in the Annex of the Federal Register Notice #2019-26325.

A public comment period and related activities regarding the DST and the proposed U.S. tariffs on French goods has been established with the following deadlines:

            December 30, 2019  Submission of request to appear at the public hearing
(including summary of expected testimony)
  January 6, 2020  Submission of written comments 
  January 14, 2020 Submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments 

The USTR is expected to hold its Section 301 Committee public hearing on January 7, 2020.

For more information, please contact your local FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage office. For a complete list of office locations, go to ftn.fedex.com/us/locations.

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