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Estonia Pianos
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iLaw Offline OP
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Sellers of imported grand pianos from Austria may want to look into the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) just-published list of products from Austria that are now being considered for new additional U.S. tariffs (25% is currently being discussed, in addition to the 4.7% already being collected) in retaliation against Austria's new digital services tax. All new and used acoustic grand pianos from Austria (classifiable under 9201.20.00 HTSUS) are on the list along with several dozen other Austrian products.

The USTR is asking that interested parties submit written comments by April 30, 2021, and there will be a (virtual) public hearing on May 11, 2021. Anybody who wants to participate in the public hearing must file a request to appear by April 21, 2021. Non-confidential information submitted, and non-confidential versions of all written submissions, will be published on the internet for public review.

PM me or comment here if you want any further information.

Larry.

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Oh no! The piano of my dreams! Why this sudden insanity?


J & J
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Originally Posted by j&j
Oh no! The piano of my dreams! Why this sudden insanity?

"in retaliation against Austria's new digital services tax"

Basically mutually assured destruction is the new norm in international trade.


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iLaw Offline OP
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Here's an interesting twist to this case. Austria is not the only country with a digital services tax that is subject to the USTR's proposed retaliatory tariff. Italy has one too, and the USTR has also just announced the list of Italian imports proposed to be subject to the 25% additional tariff.

Italian pianos aren't on the list.

Larry.

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Originally Posted by iLaw
Here's an interesting twist to this case. Austria is not the only country with a digital services tax that is subject to the USTR's proposed retaliatory tariff. Italy has one too, and the USTR has also just announced the list of Italian imports proposed to be subject to the 25% additional tariff.

Italian pianos aren't on the list.

Larry.
Because Italy has wider industrial products exportation to US.


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Originally Posted by zonzi
Because Italy has wider industrial products exportation to US.

Of course. The USTR had a different range of products to choose from for each country.

But put yourself in the shoes of a U.S. dealer of Austrian pianos who has just found out that their product has been put at a 25% competitive disadvantage versus Italian pianos, in a U.S. retaliation over precisely the same DST issue.

Larry.

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Wow. That is a tough proposition and a nightmare.

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Why only grand pianos? Are upright pianos included?


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The USTR conducted an investigation into Austria's new tax and determined that it:
1) discriminates against U.S. digital services companies (and this was specifically the stated motivation behind the tax),
2) unreasonably contravenes international tax principles, and
3) burdens or restricts U.S. commerce.

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/Releases/AustriaDSTSection301Report.pdf

One of the principles in play that I find interesting--and with which the USTR takes exception--is its "extraterritorial reach," which is also in play in the EU's general data privacy regulations. I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more push back in the U.S. (but seems to be getting some in the UK). Now that money is involved, of course, it will.

Anyway, not to delve into politics beyond pianos...


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Originally Posted by iLaw
Originally Posted by zonzi
Because Italy has wider industrial products exportation to US.

Of course. The USTR had a different range of products to choose from for each country.

But put yourself in the shoes of a U.S. dealer of Austrian pianos who has just found out that their product has been put at a 25% competitive disadvantage versus Italian pianos, in a U.S. retaliation over precisely the same DST issue.

Larry.

Agreed. Down to brass tacks--from our perspective--this is about Bösendorfers and Faziolis. Probably more Bösie's sold per year in the U.S. than Faziolis, but each produces relatively few anyway, 300 and 150 per year respectively.

It doesn't seem logical to tax one and not the other. But, as noted, I suspect the U.S. imports more from Italy than Austria, so there's a broader range of products to choose from.


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A US tariff is threatened against UK products too, for the same reason. But of course, we don't make pianos.

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Originally Posted by iLaw
Originally Posted by zonzi
Because Italy has wider industrial products exportation to US.

Of course. The USTR had a different range of products to choose from for each country.

But put yourself in the shoes of a U.S. dealer of Austrian pianos who has just found out that their product has been put at a 25% competitive disadvantage versus Italian pianos, in a U.S. retaliation over precisely the same DST issue.

Larry.
It is a very tough situation in a transition moment...
Just hope USD is going 10% stronger agains EUR, negotiate to the factory and try to get some discount, rise the piano price and hope the buyer group is going to have 25% more net revenue...


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This has clearly been orchestrated by the Fazioli Industrial Complex to take out one of their competitors.


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Did the Austrian tax authority really think that could put additional taxes on digital services and keep their products being exported unabated?

Come on man.

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I thought Austrians were completely self-sufficient, except when they choose to accept the love of the world.

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Originally Posted by TBell
Did the Austrian tax authority really think that could put additional taxes on digital services and keep their products being exported unabated?

Come on man.
I think it doesn't make any sense neither as US-Austria is always on trade deficit status...
us austria trade census


The entire EU has so many state officials, their job and they live on taxation, this is a state officials oriented logic.
Especially for the most important EU nation Germany, after 1930s crisis, the fear of the state treasury deficit is in its DNA. But they ignore the root cause was insufficient internal consumption and production surplus, which reflects on the census.gov data.

Last edited by zonzi; 04/01/21 04:18 AM.

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Originally Posted by TBell
Did the Austrian tax authority really think that could put additional taxes on digital services and keep their products being exported unabated?

Come on man.

Almost certainly they would not have thought they could do this unilaterally as a single country. But the world's taxation system will have to make some sort of adjustment as the global economy grows and changes so the issue is a lot wider than a single country or just pianos.

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Having no understanding about trade wars, it just makes me sick that we’ve survived a global pandemic (for the most part) and we have to put up with silly trade disputes, which now includes pianos. REALLY??? Why aren’t we having a post pandemic tariff holiday!


J & J
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