Wyden, Crapo Slam EU Digital Trade Policies

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Two leading senators are calling on the Administration to press the European Union on the discriminatory aspects of EU digital regulations that they say target a handful of US companies.

President Biden met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

In a letter to President Biden, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and ranking Republican Mike Crapo (Idaho) said that the EU regulations target US companies while failing to regulate similar companies based in Europe, China, Russia and elsewhere.

The senators wrote that the digital regulations should be addressed as part of the bilateral Trade and Technology Council and in discussions with the EU regarding implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRA is expected to be a key item of discussion at today’s meeting between the two Presidents.

“The EU’s regulatory efforts underlying the Digital Services Act (DSA), Digital Markets Act (DMA), digital services taxes, and other proposals target American technology companies, threaten them with enormous tax bills, compliance costs, and regulatory penalties, and give the competitive edge to the homegrown European industry,” the senators wrote.

“We support thoughtful, even-handed policies to protect consumers and encourage competition online. However, regulatory efforts that discriminate against U.S. employers and their workers by exempting the EU’s domestic companies, and even other foreign companies, are both unfair and counterproductive to the purported goals of ensuring privacy, protecting consumers, and promoting national security,” they continued.

The Administration must made its concerns clear now, before the EU moves forward with implements of the regulations, the senators said. They also noted that Brussels “is threatening to resurrect its digital services tax, which is nothing but the EU’s transparent effort to raise money by taxing American technology companies while sparing its own constituents.”