Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of India's Digital Services Tax, 16824-16828 [2021-06627]

Download as PDF 16824 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Notices HTSUS subheading Product description 5701.10.16 ............. Carpets & other textile floor coverings, hand-knotted or hand-inserted, w/ov 50% by weight of the pile of fine animal hair, nesoi. Carpets and other textile floor coverings, of wool or fine animal hair, hand-hooked (tufts were inserted and knotted by hand or hand tool). Carpets and other textile floor coverings, of wool or fine animal hair, not hand-hooked, not hand knotted during weaving. Carpet and other textile floor covering, knotted, of text. materials (not wool/hair) nesoi, pile inserted & knotted during weaving or knitting. Kelem, Schumacks, Karamanie and similar hand-woven rugs, other than certified hand-loomed and folklore products. Wilton, velvet and like floor coverings of pile construction, woven, not tufted or flocked, not made up, of wool or fine animal hair. Carpets and other textile floor coverings of pile construction, woven, not tufted or flocked, not made up, of wool/fine animal hair, nesoi. Wilton, velvet and like floor coverings of pile construction, woven, not tufted or flocked, made up, of man-made textile materials. Carpets not other textile floor coverings of pile construction, woven, not tufted or flocked, made up, of cotton. Hand-loomed carpet & other textile floor coverings, not of pile construction, woven, made up, of man-made textile materials, nesoi. Carpet & other textile floor coverings, not of pile construction, woven, made up, of man-made textile materials, nesoi. Hand-loomed carpets and other textile floor coverings, not of pile construction, woven, made up, of cotton. Carpets and other textile floor coverings, not of pile construction, woven, made up, of cotton, nesoi. Carpets and other textile floor coverings, tufted, whether or not made up, of nylon or other polyamides, nesoi. Carpets & other textile floor coverings, tufted, whether or not made up, of man-made textile materials (not nylon/other polyamides), nesoi. Carpets and other textile floor coverings, tufted, whether or not made up, of other textile materials nesoi. Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted, printed, of manmade fibers, nesoi. Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted, not printed, of manmade fibers, nesoi. Curtains (including drapes), interior blinds and valances of cotton, not knitted or crocheted. Tiles/cubes/similar arts. of natural stone, enclosable in a sq. w/a side less than 7 cm; artificially colored granules, chippings & powder. Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of travertine, simply cut/sawn, w/flat or even surface. Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of marble & alabaster, simply cut/sawn, w/flat or even surface. Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of calcareous stone, nesoi, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi. Unglazed ceramic tiles, other than those of subheading 6907.30 and 6907.40, of H2O absorp coeff by wt <=0.5%. Glazed ceramic tiles having surface area >=38.7cm2, , surf area in sq w/side <7cm, of a H2O absorp coeff by wt <=0.5%. Glazed ceramic tiles nesoi, of a H2O absorp coeff by wt <=0.5%. Glazed ceramic tiles nesoi, of a H2O absorp coeff by wt >10%. Glazed ceramic mosaic cubes having <=3229 tiles per m2, surf area in sq w/side <7cm. Glazed ceramic mosaic cubes having surface area <38.7cm2, surf area in sq w/side <7cm. Glazed ceramic mosaic cubes nesoi, o/t subheading 6907.40. Glazed finishing ceramics nesoi. Porcelain or china ceramic sinks, washbasins, baths, bidets, water closet bowls, urinals & siml. sanitary fixtures. Ceramic (o/than porcelain or china) sinks, washbasins, baths, bidets, water closet bowls, urinals & siml. sanitary fixtures. Porcelain or china (o/than bone china) statuettes and other ornamental articles, nesoi. Ceramic (o/than porcelain, china or earthenware) ornamental articles, nesoi. Silver articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi, valued not over $18 per dozen pieces or parts. Silver articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi, valued over $18 per dozen pieces or parts. Gold mixed link necklaces and neck chains. Precious metal (o/than silver) clasps and parts thereof. Precious metal (o/than silver) articles of jewelry and parts thereo, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal, nesoi. Base metal clad w/gold necklaces and neck chains, nesoi. Base metal clad w/precious metal articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi. Jewelry articles of precious or semiprecious stones, valued not over $40 per piece. Imitation jewelry (o/than toy jewelry & rope, curb, cable, chain, etc.), of base metal (wheth. or n/plated w/prec.metal), nesoi. Imitation jewelry not of base metal or plastics, nesoi, over 20 cents/dozen pcs or pts. 5701.10.40 ............. 5701.10.90 ............. 5701.90.10 ............. 5702.10.90 ............. 5702.31.10 ............. 5702.31.20 ............. 5702.42.10 ............. 5702.49.10 ............. 5702.92.10 ............. 5702.92.90 5702.99.05 5702.99.15 5703.20.20 5703.30.80 ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. 5703.90.00 6302.22.20 6302.32.20 6303.91.00 6802.10.00 ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. 6802.21.10 6802.21.50 6802.92.00 6907.21.10 6907.21.40 6907.21.90 6907.23.90 6907.30.20 6907.30.30 6907.30.90 6907.40.90 6910.10.00 6910.90.00 6913.10.50 6913.90.50 7113.11.20 7113.11.50 7113.19.25 7113.19.30 7113.19.50 7113.20.29 7113.20.50 7116.20.05 7117.19.90 ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. 7117.90.90 ............. Request for comments and notice of public hearing. ACTION: [FR Doc. 2021–06626 Filed 3–30–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F1–P jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES [Docket Number USTR–2021–0003] Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of India’s Digital Services Tax Office of the United States Trade Representative. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 30, 2021 Jkt 253001 The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of India’s Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action. SUMMARY: OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 April 21, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit requests to appear at a hearing, along with a summary of the testimony, by this date. April 30, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit written comments by this date. May 3, 2021: Multi-jurisdictional virtual hearing on proposed actions. May 10, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit multijurisdictional hearing rebuttal comments by this date. E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Notices May 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.: Virtual hearing on India DST proposed action. May 17, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit India DST hearing rebuttal comments by this date. ADDRESSES: Submit documents in response to this notice, including written comments and hearing appearance requests, through the online USTR portal: https:// comments.ustr.gov/s/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions concerning the investigation, please contact Ben Allen or Patrick Childress, Assistant General Counsels at (202) 395–9439 and (202) 395–9531, respectively; Robert Tanner, Director, Services and Investment at (202) 395– 6125; or Brendan Lynch, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs at (202) 395–2851. For issues with on-line submissions, please contact the USTR Section 301 line at (202) 395–5725. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Based on information obtained during the investigation, USTR prepared a comprehensive report on India’s DST (India DST Report). The India DST Report is posted on the USTR website at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/ enforcement/section-301-investigations/ section-301-digital-services-taxes. The report includes a full description of India’s DST, and supports findings that India’s DST is unreasonable and discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S commerce. On January 6, 2021, based on the information obtained during the investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that India’s DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a)). See 86 FR 2478 (January 12, 2021). I. Proceedings in the Investigation Section 301(b) provides that upon determining that the acts, policies, and practices under investigation are actionable and that action is appropriate, the U.S. Trade Representative shall take all appropriate and feasible action authorized under section 301(c), subject to the specific direction, if any, of the President regarding such action, and all other appropriate and feasible action within the power of the President that the President may direct the U.S. Trade Representative to take under section 301(b), to obtain the elimination of that act, policy, or practice. Section 301(c)(1)(B) of the Trade Act authorizes the U.S. Trade Representative to impose duties on the goods of the foreign country subject to the investigation. Pursuant to sections 301(b) and (c), USTR proposes that the U.S. Trade Representative should determine that action is appropriate and that appropriate action would include the imposition of additional ad valorem tariffs on certain products of India. In particular, USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on an aggregate level of trade that would collect duties on goods of India in the range of the amount of DST that India is expected to collect from U.S. companies. Initial estimates indicate that the value of the DST payable by U.S.-based company groups to India will be up to approximately $55 million per year. USTR further proposes that the goods of India subject to additional tariffs would be drawn from the preliminary list of products in the Annex to this India has adopted a DST that imposes a two percent tax on revenue generated from a broad range of digital services offered in India, including digital platform services, digital content sales, digital sales of a company’s own goods, data-related services, software-as-aservice, and several other categories of digital services. India’s DST only applies to ‘‘non-resident’’ companies. On June 2, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated an investigation of India’s DST pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act). See 85 FR 34709 (June 5, 2020) (notice of initiation). The notice of initiation solicited written comments on, inter alia, the following aspects of India’s DST: Discrimination against U.S. companies; retroactivity; and possibly unreasonable tax policy. With respect to tax policy, USTR solicited comments on, inter alia, whether the DST diverged from principles reflected in the U.S. and international tax systems including extraterritoriality; taxing revenue not income; and a purpose of penalizing particular technology companies for their commercial success. Interested persons filed over 380 written submissions in response. The public submissions are available on www.regulations.gov in docket number USTR–2020–0022. Under section 303 of the Trade Act, the U.S. Trade Representative requested consultations with the government of India regarding the issues involved in the investigation. Consultations were held on November 5, 2020. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 30, 2021 Jkt 253001 II. Proposed Action PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16825 notice, as specified by the listed eightdigit tariff subheadings. III. Request for Public Comments In accordance with section 304(b) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2414(b)), USTR invites comments from interested persons with respect to whether action is appropriate, and if so, the appropriate action to be taken. USTR requests comments with respect to any issue related to the action to be taken in this investigation. With respect to the proposed tariff action outlined above, USTR specifically invites comments regarding: • The level of the burden or restriction on U.S. commerce resulting from India’s DST, including the amount of DST payments owed by U.S. companies, the annual growth rate of such payments, and other effects, such as compliance costs. • The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties. • The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty. • The specific products to be subject to increased duties, including whether the tariff subheadings listed in the Annex should be retained or removed, or whether tariff subheadings not currently on the list should be added. In commenting on the inclusion or removal of particular products on the preliminary list of products subject to the proposed additional duties, USTR requests that commenters specifically address whether imposing increased duties on a particular product would be practicable or effective to obtain the elimination of India’s acts, policies, and practices, and whether imposing additional duties on a particular product would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small- or medium-size businesses and consumers. Simultaneously with this notice, USTR also is requesting public comments on proposed trade actions in five other DST investigations initiated at the same time as the India DST investigation. Certain interested persons may wish to provide written comments or oral testimony on multi-jurisdictional issues common to two or more investigations. To avoid duplication, the USTR portal will have a separate docket for multi-jurisdictional submissions, and USTR will hold a separate multijurisdictional hearing. To be assured of consideration, you must submit written comments on the proposed action by April 30, 2021, and post-hearing rebuttal comments by May 10, 2021 for the multi-jurisdictional hearing, and by May 17, 2021 for the India DST hearing. E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 16826 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Notices IV. Hearing Participation The Section 301 Committee will convene a virtual public hearing for comments pertaining to the India DST proposed action on May 10, 2021, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Those requesting to appear at this hearing should have comments applicable only to the India DST proposed action. The Section 301 Committee will convene a virtual public hearing for comments pertaining to multiple jurisdictions on May 3, 2021, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Those requesting to appear at the multi-jurisdictional hearing should have comments that are applicable to two or more DST investigations. For either hearing, you must submit a request to appear at the specific hearing using the electronic portal at https:// comments.ustr.gov/s/. You will be able to view a docket entitled ‘Request to Appear at Hearing on Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of India’s Digital Services Tax.’ Requests to appear must include a summary of testimony, and may be accompanied by a prehearing submission. Remarks at the hearing are limited to five minutes to allow for possible questions from the Section 301 Committee. All submissions must be in English. To be assured of consideration, USTR must receive your request to appear by April 21, 2021. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES V. Procedures for Written Submissions You must submit written comments, rebuttal comments, and requests to appear at the hearing using the electronic portal at https:// comments.ustr.gov/s. You will be able to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 30, 2021 Jkt 253001 view a docket entitled ‘Comments Concerning Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of India’s Digital Services Tax’ on the portal, docket number USTR–2021–0003. You do not need to establish an account to submit comments. Fields with a gray (BCI) notation are for Business Confidential Information and the information entered will not be publicly available. Required fields are marked ‘Required’ and will have a red asterisk (*). Fields with a green (Public) notation will be viewable by the public. The first screen of the portal requires you to enter identification and contact information. Third party organizations such as law firms, trade associations, or customs brokers should identify the full legal name of the organization they represent, and identify the primary point of contact for the submission. The remaining fields of the form are optional. After entering the identification and contact information, you can complete the remainder of the questionnaire, or any portion of it by clicking ‘Next.’ You can comment on multiple products in a single entry, or submit multiple comments. You will be able to navigate through each screen of the form by clicking ‘Next,’ with or without entering a response to each field on an individual screen or page. Additionally, you will be able to upload documents at the end of the form and designate whether USTR should treat the documents as business confidential or public information. For uploads containing BCI, the file name of the business confidential PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 version should begin with the characters ‘BCI’. Any page containing BCI must be clearly marked ‘BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL’ on the top of that page and the submission should clearly indicate, via brackets, highlighting, or other means, the specific information that is BCI. If you request business confidential treatment, you must certify in writing that disclosure of the information would endanger trade secrets or profitability, and that the information would not customarily be released to the public. Parties uploading attachments containing BCI also must submit a public version of their comments. The file name of the public version, which must be uploaded on https://comments.ustr.gov/s/, should begin with the character ‘P’. The ‘BCI’ and ‘P’ should be followed by the name of the person or entity submitting the comments or rebuttal comments. If these procedures are not sufficient to protect BCI or otherwise protect business interests, please contact the USTR Section Hotline 301 line at (202) 395– 5725 to discuss whether alternative arrangements are possible. USTR will post attachments uploaded to the docket for public inspection, except for attachments marked as business confidential. You can view all public submissions on the USTR portal at https:// comments.ustr.gov/s. Greta Peisch, General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative. BILLING CODE 3290–F1–P E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Notices 16827 Annex Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HT SUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation "nesoi" means "not elsewhere specified or included". Product Description HTSUS Subheading 0306.16.00 .............. . Cold-water shrimps and prawns, cooked in shell or uncooked, dried, salted or in brine, frozen Cold water shrimps and prawns, shell-on or peeled, live, frozen, or 0306.35.00 chilled Other shrimps and prawns, shell-on or peeled 0306.95.00 Basmati rice, husked 1006.20.20 Blinds, shutters, screens and shades of bamboo, with wooden frames 4421.91.40 w/o fixed louver boards or slats in the center Edge-glued lumber of bamboo Other articles, nesoi, of bamboo, incl pencil slats, burial caskets, gates for confining children or pets Other articles, nesoi, of wood other than of bamboo, incl pencil slats, burial caskets, gates for confining children or pets, 4421.91.94 4421.91.97 4421.99.97 4503.10.40 Corks and stoppers of natural cork, tapered & of a thickness (or length) greater than the maximum diam., over 19 mm maximum diam., nesoi 4813.10.00 4813.90.00 5109.90.90 Cigarette paper in the form of booklets or tubes Cigarette paper, whether or not cut to size, nesoi Yarn of wool nesoi, or fine animal hair nesoi, < 85% of that wool/hair, put up for retail sale, nesoi 6212.10.50 ............... Brassieres containing lace, net or embroidery, containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, whether or not knitted or crocheted 7101.22.30 ............... Cultured pearls, worked, graded and temporarily strung for convenience of transport 7101.22.60 ............... 7103.99.50 ............... Cultured pearls, worked, not strung, mounted or set Precious or semiprecious stones, nesoi, worked, whether or not graded, but n/strung (ex. ungraded temporarily strung), mtd. or set Synth. or reconstruct. precious or semiprecious stones, wkd, whether or not graded, but n/strung (ex. ungraded temp. strung), mtd./set, nes01 Silver powder Silver articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi, valued not over $18 per dozen pieces or parts ............... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 7106.10.00 ............... 7113.11.20 ............... Gold rope necklaces and neck chains Gold mixed link necklaces and neck chains 7113.19.21 7113.19.25 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 30, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 EN31MR21.003</GPH> 7104.90.50 16828 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 31, 2021 / Notices 7114.20.00 ............... 7116.20.05 ............... 7116.20.15 ............... 7116.20.30 ............... 7116.20.35 7116.20.40 ............... ............... 7116.20.50 ............... 7410.21.30 ............... 7504.00.00 9401.69.20 9401.69.40 9401.69.60 9401.69.80 9403.50.40 9403.50.90 9403.83.00 9504.30.00 Base metal clad w/gold mixed link necklaces and neck chains Base metal clad w/precious metal articles of jewelry and parts thereof, nesoi Goldsmiths' or silversmiths' wares of base metal clad with precious metal Jewelry articles of precious or semiprecious stones, valued not over $40 per piece Jewelry articles of precious or semiprecious stones, valued over $40 per piece Semiprecious stones (except rock crystal), graded and strung temporarily for convenience of transport Semiprecious stone (except rock crystal) figurines Semiprecious stone (except rock crystal) articles (other than jewelry and figurines) Precious stone articles, nesoi Refined copper, clad laminates, w/thickness of 0.15 mm or less, backed Nickel, powders and flakes Seats nesoi, of bent-wood Chairs nesoi, w/teak frames, not upholstered Chairs nesoi, w/wooden frames (o/than teak), not upholstered Seats (o/than chairs) nesoi, w/wooden frames, not upholstered Furniture (o/than seats) of bentwood nesoi, of a kind used in the bedroom Furniture (o/than seats) of wood (o/than bentwood), of a kind used in the bedroom & not designed for motor vehicle use Rattan furniture and parts Coin- or token-operated games for arcade, table or parlor (o/than bowling alley equipment) nesoi and parts and accessories thereof Indonesia because these jurisdictions either have not adopted or not implemented a DST during the period of investigation. [FR Doc. 2021–06627 Filed 3–30–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290–F1–C OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Termination of Section 301 Digital Services Tax Investigations of Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, and Indonesia Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). ACTION: Notice. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: The U.S. Trade Representative is terminating the Section 301 investigations of Digital Services Taxes (DSTs) under consideration by Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, and SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 30, 2021 Jkt 253001 For questions concerning the investigations, please contact Benjamin Allen or Patrick Childress, Assistant General Counsels at (202) 395–9439 and (202) 395–9531, respectively; or Robert Tanner, Director, Services and Investment at (202) 395–6125. For jurisdiction-specific questions, please contact: Courtney Smothers, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Latin America at (202) 395–7657 (for Brazil); Michael Rogers, Director, Europe and the Middle East at (202) 395–2684 (for the Czech Republic and the EU); or Bart Thanhauser, Director for FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Southeast Asia and the Pacific at (202) 395–4088 (for Indonesia). DATES: The Section 301 investigations of DSTs under consideration by Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, and Indonesia are terminated as of March 26, 2021. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 2, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated investigations pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, of DSTs under consideration by Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, and Indonesia. 85 FR 34709 (June 5, 2020). On January 13, 2021, USTR issued a status update on these four investigations: https://ustr.gov/sites/ default/files/files/Press/Releases/Status Update301InvestigationsBEUIndCR.pdf. The status update summarizes the DSTs E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 EN31MR21.004</GPH> 7113.20.25 ............... 7113.20.50 ...............

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 60 (Wednesday, March 31, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16824-16828]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06627]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

[Docket Number USTR-2021-0003]


Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of India's Digital 
Services Tax

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Request for comments and notice of public hearing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 
requests written comments regarding a potential trade action in 
connection with the Section 301 investigation of India's Digital 
Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and 
accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

DATES: 
    April 21, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit requests to 
appear at a hearing, along with a summary of the testimony, by this 
date.
    April 30, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit written 
comments by this date.
    May 3, 2021: Multi-jurisdictional virtual hearing on proposed 
actions.
    May 10, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit multi-
jurisdictional hearing rebuttal comments by this date.

[[Page 16825]]

    May 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.: Virtual hearing on India DST proposed 
action.
    May 17, 2021: To be assured of consideration, submit India DST 
hearing rebuttal comments by this date.

ADDRESSES: Submit documents in response to this notice, including 
written comments and hearing appearance requests, through the online 
USTR portal: https://comments.ustr.gov/s/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions concerning the 
investigation, please contact Ben Allen or Patrick Childress, Assistant 
General Counsels at (202) 395-9439 and (202) 395-9531, respectively; 
Robert Tanner, Director, Services and Investment at (202) 395-6125; or 
Brendan Lynch, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South and 
Central Asian Affairs at (202) 395-2851. For issues with on-line 
submissions, please contact the USTR Section 301 line at (202) 395-
5725.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Proceedings in the Investigation

    India has adopted a DST that imposes a two percent tax on revenue 
generated from a broad range of digital services offered in India, 
including digital platform services, digital content sales, digital 
sales of a company's own goods, data-related services, software-as-a-
service, and several other categories of digital services. India's DST 
only applies to ``non-resident'' companies.
    On June 2, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated an 
investigation of India's DST pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(A) of the 
Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act). See 85 FR 34709 (June 5, 
2020) (notice of initiation). The notice of initiation solicited 
written comments on, inter alia, the following aspects of India's DST: 
Discrimination against U.S. companies; retroactivity; and possibly 
unreasonable tax policy. With respect to tax policy, USTR solicited 
comments on, inter alia, whether the DST diverged from principles 
reflected in the U.S. and international tax systems including 
extraterritoriality; taxing revenue not income; and a purpose of 
penalizing particular technology companies for their commercial 
success. Interested persons filed over 380 written submissions in 
response. The public submissions are available on www.regulations.gov 
in docket number USTR-2020-0022.
    Under section 303 of the Trade Act, the U.S. Trade Representative 
requested consultations with the government of India regarding the 
issues involved in the investigation. Consultations were held on 
November 5, 2020.
    Based on information obtained during the investigation, USTR 
prepared a comprehensive report on India's DST (India DST Report). The 
India DST Report is posted on the USTR website at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/section-301-digital-services-taxes. The report includes a full description of India's DST, 
and supports findings that India's DST is unreasonable and 
discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S commerce.
    On January 6, 2021, based on the information obtained during the 
investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. 
Trade Representative determined that India's DST is unreasonable or 
discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is 
actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 
2411(b) and 2414(a)). See 86 FR 2478 (January 12, 2021).

II. Proposed Action

    Section 301(b) provides that upon determining that the acts, 
policies, and practices under investigation are actionable and that 
action is appropriate, the U.S. Trade Representative shall take all 
appropriate and feasible action authorized under section 301(c), 
subject to the specific direction, if any, of the President regarding 
such action, and all other appropriate and feasible action within the 
power of the President that the President may direct the U.S. Trade 
Representative to take under section 301(b), to obtain the elimination 
of that act, policy, or practice.
    Section 301(c)(1)(B) of the Trade Act authorizes the U.S. Trade 
Representative to impose duties on the goods of the foreign country 
subject to the investigation. Pursuant to sections 301(b) and (c), USTR 
proposes that the U.S. Trade Representative should determine that 
action is appropriate and that appropriate action would include the 
imposition of additional ad valorem tariffs on certain products of 
India.
    In particular, USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 
25 percent ad valorem on an aggregate level of trade that would collect 
duties on goods of India in the range of the amount of DST that India 
is expected to collect from U.S. companies. Initial estimates indicate 
that the value of the DST payable by U.S.-based company groups to India 
will be up to approximately $55 million per year.
    USTR further proposes that the goods of India subject to additional 
tariffs would be drawn from the preliminary list of products in the 
Annex to this notice, as specified by the listed eight-digit tariff 
subheadings.

III. Request for Public Comments

    In accordance with section 304(b) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 
2414(b)), USTR invites comments from interested persons with respect to 
whether action is appropriate, and if so, the appropriate action to be 
taken.
    USTR requests comments with respect to any issue related to the 
action to be taken in this investigation. With respect to the proposed 
tariff action outlined above, USTR specifically invites comments 
regarding:
     The level of the burden or restriction on U.S. commerce 
resulting from India's DST, including the amount of DST payments owed 
by U.S. companies, the annual growth rate of such payments, and other 
effects, such as compliance costs.
     The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by 
additional duties.
     The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty.
     The specific products to be subject to increased duties, 
including whether the tariff subheadings listed in the Annex should be 
retained or removed, or whether tariff subheadings not currently on the 
list should be added.
    In commenting on the inclusion or removal of particular products on 
the preliminary list of products subject to the proposed additional 
duties, USTR requests that commenters specifically address whether 
imposing increased duties on a particular product would be practicable 
or effective to obtain the elimination of India's acts, policies, and 
practices, and whether imposing additional duties on a particular 
product would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, 
including small- or medium-size businesses and consumers.
    Simultaneously with this notice, USTR also is requesting public 
comments on proposed trade actions in five other DST investigations 
initiated at the same time as the India DST investigation. Certain 
interested persons may wish to provide written comments or oral 
testimony on multi-jurisdictional issues common to two or more 
investigations. To avoid duplication, the USTR portal will have a 
separate docket for multi-jurisdictional submissions, and USTR will 
hold a separate multi-jurisdictional hearing.
    To be assured of consideration, you must submit written comments on 
the proposed action by April 30, 2021, and post-hearing rebuttal 
comments by May 10, 2021 for the multi-jurisdictional hearing, and by 
May 17, 2021 for the India DST hearing.

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IV. Hearing Participation

    The Section 301 Committee will convene a virtual public hearing for 
comments pertaining to the India DST proposed action on May 10, 2021, 
beginning at 9:30 a.m. Those requesting to appear at this hearing 
should have comments applicable only to the India DST proposed action.
    The Section 301 Committee will convene a virtual public hearing for 
comments pertaining to multiple jurisdictions on May 3, 2021, beginning 
at 9:30 a.m. Those requesting to appear at the multi-jurisdictional 
hearing should have comments that are applicable to two or more DST 
investigations.
    For either hearing, you must submit a request to appear at the 
specific hearing using the electronic portal at https://comments.ustr.gov/s/. You will be able to view a docket entitled 
`Request to Appear at Hearing on Proposed Action in Section 301 
Investigation of India's Digital Services Tax.' Requests to appear must 
include a summary of testimony, and may be accompanied by a pre-hearing 
submission. Remarks at the hearing are limited to five minutes to allow 
for possible questions from the Section 301 Committee. All submissions 
must be in English. To be assured of consideration, USTR must receive 
your request to appear by April 21, 2021.

V. Procedures for Written Submissions

    You must submit written comments, rebuttal comments, and requests 
to appear at the hearing using the electronic portal at https://comments.ustr.gov/s. You will be able to view a docket entitled 
`Comments Concerning Proposed Action in Section 301 Investigation of 
India's Digital Services Tax' on the portal, docket number USTR-2021-
0003.
    You do not need to establish an account to submit comments. Fields 
with a gray (BCI) notation are for Business Confidential Information 
and the information entered will not be publicly available. Required 
fields are marked `Required' and will have a red asterisk (*). Fields 
with a green (Public) notation will be viewable by the public.
    The first screen of the portal requires you to enter identification 
and contact information. Third party organizations such as law firms, 
trade associations, or customs brokers should identify the full legal 
name of the organization they represent, and identify the primary point 
of contact for the submission. The remaining fields of the form are 
optional.
    After entering the identification and contact information, you can 
complete the remainder of the questionnaire, or any portion of it by 
clicking `Next.' You can comment on multiple products in a single 
entry, or submit multiple comments. You will be able to navigate 
through each screen of the form by clicking `Next,' with or without 
entering a response to each field on an individual screen or page. 
Additionally, you will be able to upload documents at the end of the 
form and designate whether USTR should treat the documents as business 
confidential or public information.
    For uploads containing BCI, the file name of the business 
confidential version should begin with the characters `BCI'. Any page 
containing BCI must be clearly marked `BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL' on the 
top of that page and the submission should clearly indicate, via 
brackets, highlighting, or other means, the specific information that 
is BCI. If you request business confidential treatment, you must 
certify in writing that disclosure of the information would endanger 
trade secrets or profitability, and that the information would not 
customarily be released to the public. Parties uploading attachments 
containing BCI also must submit a public version of their comments. The 
file name of the public version, which must be uploaded on https://comments.ustr.gov/s/, should begin with the character `P'. The `BCI' 
and `P' should be followed by the name of the person or entity 
submitting the comments or rebuttal comments. If these procedures are 
not sufficient to protect BCI or otherwise protect business interests, 
please contact the USTR Section Hotline 301 line at (202) 395-5725 to 
discuss whether alternative arrangements are possible. USTR will post 
attachments uploaded to the docket for public inspection, except for 
attachments marked as business confidential.
    You can view all public submissions on the USTR portal at https://comments.ustr.gov/s.

Greta Peisch,
General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
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