Digital services tax: Canada’s goal is in the US’s interest
WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative will consider “all options” if Canada imposes a digital services tax, a USTR spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.
The spokesperson said the United States is concerned about Canada’s announcement that it will continue to pursue a unilateral digital services tax.
“If Canada adopts DST, the USTR will consider all options, including under our domestic trade agreements and regulations,” the statement said.
In October, the United States withdrew its threat to levy taxes on five European countries on their digital services tax as part of an agreement to manage the transition to a new global tax regime for large, highly profitable corporations such as Google’s Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc.
On Tuesday, Finance Canada said Ottawa remained open to taxing corporations that provide digital services if needed.
Canada announced the proposed measure in April, saying it would stay in place until major countries come up with a coordinated approach to tax big digital companies.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has since agreed to a common approach to ensuring these companies pay their share of taxes, but a treaty to enforce this has yet to be made.
A Google spokesperson on Tuesday said Canada’s move to impose tariffs “would weaken the multilateral consensus and raise prices for Canadians. We expect that to be reconsidered.”