Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.Con.Res. 190 (ih) Urging the United States to seek a global consensus supporting a moratorium on tariffs and on special, multiple, and discriminatory taxation of electronic commerce. [Introduced in House] ...

H.Con.Res. 190 (ih) Urging the United States to seek a global consensus supporting a moratorium on tariffs and on special, multiple, and discriminatory taxation of electronic commerce. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.Con. Res.190
                                     Agreed to November 19, 1999        

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE FIRST SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
   the sixth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine


                          Concurrent Resolution

Whereas electronic commerce is not bound by geography and its borders 
  are not easily discernible;

Whereas transmissions over the Internet are made through packet-
  switching, making it impossible to determine with any degree of 
  certainty the precise geographic route or endpoints of specific 
  Internet transmissions and infeasible to separate domestic from 
  foreign Internet transmissions;

Whereas inconsistent and inadministrable taxes imposed on Internet 
  activity by subnational and national governments threaten not only to 
  subject consumers, businesses, and other users engaged in interstate 
  and foreign commerce to multiple, confusing, and burdensome taxation, 
  but also to restrict the growth and continued technological 
  maturation of the Internet itself;

Whereas the complexity of the issue of domestic taxation of electronic 
  commerce is compounded when considered at the global level with 
  almost 200 separate national governments;

Whereas the First Annual Report of the United States Government Working 
  Group on Electronic Commerce found that fewer than 10,000,000 people 
  worldwide were using the Internet in 1995, that more than 140,000,000 
  people worldwide were using the Internet in 1998, and that more than 
  1,000,000,000 people worldwide will be using the Internet in the 
  first decade of the next century;

Whereas information technology industries have accounted for more than 
  one-third of real growth in the United States' Gross Domestic Product 
  over the past 3 years;

Whereas information technology industries employ more than 7,000,000 
  people in the United States, and by 2006 more than half of the United 
  States workforce is expected to be employed in industries that are 
  either major producers or intensive users of information technology 
  products and services;

Whereas electronic commerce among businesses worldwide is expected to 
  grow from $43,000,000,000 in 1998 to more than $1,300,000,000,000 by 
  2003, and electronic retail sales to consumers worldwide are expected 
  to grow from $8,000,000,000 in 1998 to more than $108,000,000,000 by 
  2003;

Whereas the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 enacted a policy against 
  special, multiple, and discriminatory taxation of the Internet and 
  electronic commerce, and stated that United States policy should be 
  to seek bilateral, regional, and multilateral agreements to remove 
  barriers to global electronic commerce;

Whereas the World Trade Organization, at its May 1998 ministerial 
  conference, adopted a declaration that all 132 member countries 
  ``will continue their current practice of not imposing customs duties 
  on electronic transmissions'';

Whereas the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and 
  industry groups issued a joint declaration at an October 1998 
  ministerial meeting on global electronic commerce opposing special, 
  multiple, and discriminatory taxation of the electronic commerce and 
  the Internet;

Whereas the Committee on Fiscal Affairs of the Organization for 
  Economic Cooperation and Development has stated that neutrality, 
  efficiency, certainty, simplicity, effectiveness, fairness, and 
  flexibility are the broad principles that should govern the taxation 
  of electronic commerce;

Whereas the United States has issued joint statements on electronic 
  commerce with Australia, the European Union, France, Ireland, Japan, 
  and the Republic of Korea opposing special, multiple, and 
  discriminatory taxation of electronic commerce; and

Whereas a July 1999 United Nations Report on Human Development urged 
  world governments to impose ``bit taxes'' on electronic 
  transmissions, raising concerns that United States policy against 
  special, multiple, and discriminatory taxation of the Internet may be 
  undermined: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That the Congress--
        (1) urges the President to seek a global consensus supporting--
            (A) a permanent international ban on tariffs on electronic 
        commerce; and
            (B) an international ban on bit, multiple, and 
        discriminatory taxation of electronic commerce and the 
        Internet;
        (2) urges the President to instruct the United States 
    delegation to the November 1999 World Trade Organization 
    ministerial meeting in Seattle, Washington to seek to make 
    permanent and binding the moratorium on tariffs on electronic 
    transmissions adopted by the World Trade Organization in May 1998;
        (3) urges the President to seek adoption by the Organization 
    for Economic Cooperation and Development, and implementation by the 
    group's 29 member countries, of an international ban on bit, 
    multiple, and discriminatory taxation of electronic commerce and 
    the Internet; and
        (4) urges the President to oppose any proposal by any country, 
    the United Nations, or any other multilateral organization to 
    establish a ``bit tax'' on electronic transmissions.
  Attest:

                                 Clerk of the House of Representatives.

  Attest:

                                               Secretary of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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