AR-News: (US) European Trade Sanctions Impact Buyers of U.S. Horses

Animalara2003 at Animalara2003 at
Thu Mar 4 01:20:48 EST 2004 

European horse buyers will have to begin paying a 5% excise tax on horses 
they purchase and bring home from the United States as a result of sanctions 
imposed against the U.S. on Monday by the European Union. 
The tax, effective March 1, is a retaliation against the U.S. for not 
conforming to a ruling by the World Trade Organization. The tax began March 1 and 
will increase 1% a month until it reaches 17%. Federal tax legislation currently 
being considered would cause the EU to lift the sanctions. 
The measures are in reaction to the Foreign Sales Corporation federal law 
that gave tax advantages to U.S. exporters selling their goods in the EU. The WTO 
called the tax break an illegitimate export subsidy and gave the U.S. two 
extensions before imposing the tax. 
Among the industries affected most is agriculture, said Greg Avioli, chief 
operating officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the 
industry's chief liaison in Washington, D.C. Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa 
Republican, is pushing a bill passed unanimously last fall by the Senate Finance 
Committee that he chairs. A similar bill has passed the House Ways and Means 
Committee, but election-year politics and amendments could slow its passage. 
"When the legislation was passed by the Senate Finance Committee last year, 
it also included a provision to eliminate the 30% federal tax on winning bets 
made outside the U.S.," Avioli said. The tax has been a roadblock for the 
expansion of international simulcasting. 
The NTRA has joined numerous other organizations, including the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce, in urging Congress to address the issue quickly. 
The tax affects all horses other than breeding stock or horses destined for 
immediate slaughter. 
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