US Complains About EU Tech Tax

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), along with the Japanese government, has filed a trade complaint against the European Union, saying the E.U. has violated a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement by taxing the import of some tech products. They allege that the E.U. is illegally imposing import duties on cable and satellite boxes that can access the Internet, flat-panel computer monitors, and some multifunction computer printers, the USTR announced Wednesday. Those products represented a $70 billion global export market in 2007, the USTR said in a news release.

"It is critical that the European Union live up to its [WTO] obligations instead of imposing new taxes and duties on innovative technologies," U.S.Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in a statement. "The EU should be working with the United States to promote new technologies, not finding protectionist gimmicks to apply new duties to these products." Representatives of the E.U. did not immediately respond to a request for comments.


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These charges are passed on to the consumer - the only reason the companies are bothered is it means to remain competitive with non imported items they have to offer more competitive prices.... maybe rather than shipping everything around the worlda few times before it lands in the hands of the consumer - just to save a dollar - companies should think about what that costs the enviroment.

Not selling at dollar equivalence would be a nice change. $1 != €1 !!!= £1.
I appreciate that there may be a slight price difference due to such things as the EU import tax and a spot of shipping, but when USians pay $399 for something and UKians have to pay £399 for the same thing it really annoys me that companies then use the "oh, import duties and transport costs" excuse to double the price. Also annoying is the "well, that's what the market will bear" line trotted out. How about "we could corner the market with our stuff if it wasn't price hiked to match everybody else's baseline"? Oh, but that would mean actually giving a damn about the customer instead of ripping them off.

Which is why I buy hardware when possible from somewhere cheaper, even factoring in shipping costs, possible personal import duties, etc.

Remember, the EU is looking out for their consumers here.

Now, what other successful American company can they steal from next?

Ummm.... We threw tea in the harbor because WE were getting taxed. This is NOT the US getting tax, it's about the P.U. taxing goods being IMPORTED. Kinda hard to understand, huh?

Considering the US puts arbitrary import taxes that break WTO rules as well, I don't see this going far. The US is surprisingly protectionist (not necessarily with duties, but bureaucratic walls as well) for the ideology that they preach in terms of economics.

Cough, as if USA didn't have import restrictions and taxes for foreign products.

The pot and the kettle comes to mind.

(daPhoenix said @ #4)
Cough, as if USA didn't have import restrictions and taxes for foreign products.

The pot and the kettle comes to mind.

No. Our problem is the complete opposite. Our government doesn't enforce enough import restrictions which costs the people in jobs. US corporations seek their labor in other countries and pay the relatively cheep import costs to sell goods back to the US.

(Shadrack said @ #4.3)
No. Our problem is the complete opposite. Our government doesn't enforce enough import restrictions which costs the people in jobs.

Oh please. Steel tarrifs, gambling restrictions, airline subsidies, etc - the US is perfectly happy to exercise its muscle where it sees fit. In some of those cases the US went too far and the WTO ruled against them. The whole point is that the WTO is there to govern international trade to protect trade markets - not all decisions will benefit every country but they are designed to be fair overall. Every country would love to impose huge import tariffs to protect their businesses but international trade cannot operate like that.

Well, if the situation is as described then I hope the EU addresses the criticism. Let's just hope it acts quicker than the US did with its gambling restrictions.

Thats true.

The EU are a bunch of unelected socialists that will tax high and do bugger all else.

That sounds just like 'new' labour!

(leesmithg said @ #1.1)
Thats true.

The EU are a bunch of unelected socialists that will tax high and do bugger all else.

That sounds just like 'new' labour!



republican/capitalist/conservator have the same "trait".

hmm first two comments are just complaints that have little to do with the article past the fact that it's related to the EU.

first, it isn't a tax it's an import duty.
second, we do elect the lower house of EU legislature the last election was in 2004 remember?
third, they have very little to do with tax apart from VAT although member states still set the rate.
fourth, the EU do a lot else inlcuding customs, competition, monetary policy, agriculture and fishery.

(mad_onion said @ #1.3)
hmm first two comments are just complaints that have little to do with the article past the fact that it's related to the EU.

first, it isn't a tax it's an import duty.
second, we do elect the lower house of EU legislature the last election was in 2004 remember?
third, they have very little to do with tax apart from VAT although member states still set the rate.
fourth, the EU do a lot else inlcuding customs, competition, monetary policy, agriculture and fishery.

The elected MEPs have no power, in practice anyway.

(M2Ys4U said @ #1.4)
The elected MEPs have no power, in practice anyway.


at the moment they have relatively limited power but under the treaty of lisbon which is due to come in to force next year (as long as it is ratfied) they will have equal power to the council in most policy areas.

(leesmithg said @ #1.1)
Thats true.

The EU are a bunch of unelected socialists that will tax high and do bugger all else.

That sounds just like 'new' labour!

Do yourself (and everyone else) a favour and LOOK UP the definition of Socialist.