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Database

Browse Database
Establishment restrictions

UNITED STATES


Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Communications Act of 1934

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first report on the review of foreign ownership policies for common carrier licenses (2012)
Section 310(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 states that a foreign government or representative may not directly hold a spectrum license.

Section 310(b)(1) and (2) state that foreign individuals and business entities may not directly hold any common carrier, broadcast or aeronautical fixed on en route licenses. Under 310(b)(3), a foreign entity is limited to a 20% ownership interest in any common carrier, broadcast or aeronautical fixed on en route licenses. Pursuant to section 310(b)(4), a foreign entity is limited to a 25% ownership interest in a US corporation that controls any common carrier, broadcast or aeronautical fixed on en route license.

The Federal Communications Commission has the discretion to allow foreign ownership in excess of 25% unless such ownership is inconsistent with the public interest.
Coverage Spectrum, common carriers, broadcast and aeronautical fixed on en route licenses
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

SInce December 2012

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Technology mandate
Trade Agreements Act of 1979
The Trade Agreements Act (TAA) of 1979 rules are frequently used as a barrier to the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in federal government procurement. Companies must certify compliance with the TAA, which requires a product to be manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country.

A designated country is a country with which the U.S. has a trade agreement on government procurement or a similar arrangement. It is reported that this creates a problem bebause FOSS frequently contains routines or components whose origin is not sufficiently certain to certify compliance with these requirements.
Coverage Free and open source software (FOSS)
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since April 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
Although the US is a signatory to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), its coverage schedules only partially cover telecommunication services, which is an important service sector for digital trade.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since January 2011

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Section 5000C of the Internal Revenue Code
In 2011, the US enacted a bill that imposes a 2% tax on foreign procurement of goods and services by the Federal government. The law provides that the new tax "shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements" but that the tax will apply to procurements from "any country which is not a party to an international procurement agreement with the United States." This means that there are exemptions for FTAs partners of the United States and signatories of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.
Coverage Horizontal
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since 1933
Since 1979

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Buy American Act (BAA)

Trade Agreements Act (TAA)
The Buy American Act legislation has been in force since 1933 with the aim of ensuring domestic jobs. This legislation requires, among other things, a price preference for US suppliers. Since 2004, the Congress has exempted commercial IT products from the reach of the Buy American Act.

However, if the acquisition value of the tender is above a certain purchasing threshold, the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) applies to the tender (the threshold is mostly around 200,000 USD, but lower for selected FTAs). The TAA opens procurement markets only for products from the US or “designated countries” and prohibits procurement of end products from non-designated countries (e.g. China, India, Indonesia, Thailand).
Coverage Horizontal
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since March 2013
Reported in January 2018

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Consolidated and Further Continuing Approprations Act, 2013 (Section 516)

Defending U.S. Government Communications Act (proposal)
In October 2012, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), a congressional panel, recommended against the purchase of equipment manufactured by Huawei by US telecommunications firms. According to the HPSCI, there was "insufficient evidence" to disprove the assertation that Huawei equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on US networks, and that government systems, particularly sensitive systems, should therefore not include Huawei equipment, including component parts of such equipment. The HPSCI report also stated that US network providers and systems developers were strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects, and that American firms currently using these products should divest in the interest of their customers and their country.

In 2013, following this report, the US House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill prohibiting the purchase of telecom equipment produced by Chinese state-owned or state-directed companies, like Huawei, by the Commerce and Justice Departments, the National Science Foundation and NASA. This departments are prohibited from acquiring information technology systems "produced, manufactured or assembled by entities owned, directed or subsidized by the Chinese government", unless the purchasing agency consults with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and also determines that the purchase is in the interests of the USA. Other firms which face this ban include Lenovo and ZTE.

Additionally, in January 2018, a bill termed the "Defending U.S. Government Communications Act" was proposed which would prohibit the US government in its entirety from purchasing “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE.
Coverage Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, other Chinese network equipment
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since March 2013

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Provision in the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013” (H.R.933)
A provision in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R.933), which President Obama signed into law in March 2013, bars the departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),and the National Science Foundation from procuring any information technology (IT) systems that are produced, manufactured, or assembled by any company owned, directed, or subsidized by the People’s Republic of China, unless the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has completed an assessment of the security risk of cyber espionage or sabotage associated with the system to the United States.
Coverage Any information technology (IT) systems from the People’s Republic of China
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Reported in 2014

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on online services
Discriminatory Tax
It is reported that, on average, taxes on wireless services are about 8% higher than for other services.
Coverage Wireless services
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since July 2015.

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on online services
City of Chicago interpretation of the Lease Transaction Tax (Lease Tax Ruling No. 12) and the Amusement Tax (Amusement Tax Ruling No. 5)
The City of Chicago has interpreted that certain taxes should also be applicable when the consumption of a service is made online. In this regard, since 1 July 2015, the Lease Transaction Tax and the Amusement Tax are now also applicable to non-possessory computer leases and electronically delivered amusements, respectively. Therefore, companies are requested to collect a levy of 9% every time a consumer uses cloud computing, cloud services, hosted environment, software as a service, platform as a service, or infrastructure as a service, as now provided by Lease Transaction tax, or when the consumer uses streaming services, as provided by the Amusement Tax.
Coverage Cloud based technologies, streaming media services
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since October 1992

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on digital goods and products
Audio Home Recording Act of 1992
Royalties must be paid by manufacturers and/or distributors of digital audio recording devices and digital audio interface devices imported, manufactured or distributed in the United States. The Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) establishes the following rates:
- Devices: 2% of the distribution price with a maximum of 8 USD per device and 12 USD in the case of a physically integrated unit containing more than one device;
- Media: 3%.

Professional devices are exempt and refunds are therefore not applicable. The levies also do not cover:
- those devices that are used primarily for fixing non-musical works such as motion pictures, audiovisual works, computer programmes or databases;
- those works that consist entirely of spoken word;
- any computer-based programme, professional model products, dictation machines, and other audio recording equipment that is designed and marketed primarily for the fixation of non-musical sounds.
Coverage Digital media, audio recording devices and digital audio interface devices
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since July 2018

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Antidumping, CVD & Safeguards
Safeguard measure
The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) imposed a 25% tariff on USD 50bn worth of goods originating from China, including a number of ICT devices, components and sub-components. This forms part of an ongoing conflict between China and the US, which began with the imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from China.

The first batch of tariffs on USD 34bn worth of imports is effective on 6 July 2018, while the remaining USD 16bn is undergoing further review from the USTR.
Coverage Industrial robots, not elsewhere specified or included (HS 8479.50); electric transformers, static converters (e.g. rectifiers) and inductors (HS 8504.21.00, 8504.22.00, 8504.23.00, 8504.32.00, 8504.33.00, 8504.34.00, 8504.40.40, 8504.90.41, 8504.90.65, 8504.90.75, 8504.90.96); lithium primary cells and primary batteries (HS 8506.50.00); industrial or laboratory electric furnaces and ovens (including those functioning by induction or dielectric loss); other industrial or laboratory equipment for the heat treatment of materials by induction or dielectric loss (HS 8514.10.00, 8514.20.60, 8514.20.80, 8514.30.10, 8514.30.90, 8514.40.00, 8514.90.80); Transmission apparatus for radio broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras, digital cameras and video camera recorders (HS 8525.50.70, 8525.60.10, 8525.60.20, 8525.80.10, 8525.80.20); Radar apparatus, radio navigational aid apparatus and radio remote control apparatus (HS 8526.10.00, 8526.91.00, 8526.92.50); radio receivers, NESOI (HS 8527.99.15); reception apparatus for radiobroadcasting, NESOI (8527.99.40); Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of heading 85.25 to 85.28 (HS 8529.10.40, 8529.90.05, 8529.90.06, 8529.90.09, 8529.90.16, 8529.90.19, 8529.90.22, 8529.90.24, 8529.90.29, 8529.90.33, 8529.90.46, 8529.90.63, 8529.90.68, 8529.90.73, 8529.90.78, 8529.90.81, 8529.90.83, 8529.90.89, 8529.90.93, 8529.90.95, 8529.90.97, 8529.90.99); electric capacitors, fixed, variable or adjustable (pre-set) (HS 8532.10.00; 8532.21.00, 8532.22.00, 8532.23.00, 8532.24.00, 8532.25.00, 8532.29.00, 8532.30.00, 8532.90.00); electrical resistors (including rheostats and potentiometers) other than heating resistors (HS 8533.10.00, 8533.21.00, 8533.29.00, 8533.31.00, 8533.40.40, 8533.40.80, 8533.90.80); Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or electrical circuits (HS 8536.10.00, 8536.20.00, 8536.30.40, 8536.41.00, 8536.49.00, 8536.50.40, 8536.50.90, 8536.69.40, 8536.90.40, 8536.90.85); Klystron tubes (HS 8540.79.10); Microwave tubes (other than magnetrons or klystrons) excluding grid-controlled tubes (HS 8540.79.20); Thermionic, cold cathode or photocathode tubes, nesoi (HS 8540.89.00); Diodes, transistors and similar semiconductor devices; photosensitive semiconductor devices, including photovoltaic cells whether or not assembled in modules or made up into panels; light emitting diodes; mounted piezo-electric crystals (HS 8541.21.00, 8541.29.00, 8541.30.00, 8541.40.20, 8541.40.70, 8541.40.80, 8541.40.95, 8541.50.00, 8541.60.00, 8541.90.00); Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter (HS 8543.10.00, 8543.20.00, 8543.30.20, 8543.30.90, 8543.70.20, 8543.70.42, 8543.70.60, 8543.70.80, 8543.70.95, 8543.70.97, 8543.90.12, 8543.90.15, 8543.90.35, 8543.90.65, 8543.90.68); insulated (including enamelled or anodised) wire, cable (including co-axial cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres (HS 8544.11.00, 8544.19.00, 8544.30.00, 8544.49.30, 8544.49.90, 8544.60.20, 8544.60.40, 8544.70.00); Compound optical microscopes, including those for photomicrography or microprojection (HS 9011.10.40, 9011.10.80, 9011.20.40, 9011.90.00); microscopes other than optical microscopes; diffraction apparatus (HS 9012.10.00); parts and accessories for microscopes other than optical microscopes, and for diffraction apparatus (HS 9012.90.00); instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases (HS 9026.10.20, 9026.20.40, 9026.80.20, 9026.90.20, 9026.90.40, 9026.90.60); instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis (for ex. Polarimeters, refractometers, gas or smoke analysis apparatus); instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking viscosity, porosity, expansion, surface tension (HS 9027.20.50, 9027.20.80, 9027.30.40, 9027.30.80, 9027.50.10, 9027.50.40, 9027.50.80, 9027.80.25, 9027.80.45, 9027.80.80, 9027.90.45, 9027.90.54, 9027.90.56, 9027.90.59, 9027.90.64, 9027.90.84, 9027.90.88); Oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers and other instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking electrical quantities, excluding meters of heading 90.28 (HS 9030.10.00, 9030.20.05, 9030.33.34, 9030.33.38, 9030.39.01, 9030.40.00, 9030.82.00, 9030.90.25, 9030.90.46, 9030.90.66, 9030.90.68, 9030.90.84, 9030.90.89); optical measuring/checking instruments/appliances for inspecting semiconductor wafers/devices or photomasks/reticle used to mfg such devices (HS 9031.41.00); other optical instruments & appliances, other than 903141 (HS 9031.49.10, 9031.49.40, 9031.49.70, 9031.49.90; parts & accessories of the instruments, apparatus & machineries of 9031 (HS 9031.90.21, 9031.90.54, 9031.90.59, 9031.90.70, 9031.90.91)
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since October 2008, extension in January 2015

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Antidumping, CVD & Safeguards
Antidumping measure
After a sunset review, the US decided on the continuation of the antidumping duty imposed on imports originating from China. Antidumping duties of 149.92% are applied to imports from Guizhou Redstar Developing Import and Export Company, Ltd.
Coverage Product: Electrolytic manganese dioxide (used in batteries) (HS 282010); Country: China
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since August 2012

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Antidumping, CVD & Safeguards
Antidumping measure
The antidumping rates applied are as follows: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd 14.95%, Hyosung Corporation 29.04% and for imports from all other companies 22%.
Coverage Product: Large power transformers (HS 850490, 850423); Country: South Korea
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

UNITED STATES

ITA signatory? I II

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Applied tariffs on digital goods
Average MFN rate
1.46%
Weighted average MFN rate
0.66%
Maximum tariff rate
15.00%
Coverage rate of zero-tariffs
50.83%

Coverage: Digital goods

Trading restrictions

TURKEY

Reported in March 2018

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De minimis rule
According to Turkey's de minimis rule, goods not exceeding 26 SDR / 30 EUR / 26 USD of value are exempted from taxes and duties collected by customs.
Coverage Horizontal