Saturday 27 May 2017

Trump aide: tax cuts will tempt firms home to US

Wilbur Ross. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Wilbur Ross. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Sean Duffy

Donald Trump's choice to be the new US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has said that lowering corporation tax in the US will be a top priority for luring multinationals to the country.

In a testimony that will send a shudder down the spine of Irish policymakers, Mr Ross told a US Senate Confirmation Committee that lowering the current rate of tax on multinationals would be "the biggest single tool" the US could use to attract and keep large corporates.

"The best way for foreign firms to come here is for us to lower the corporate tax rate.That will be a further inducement for them to come.

"Right now, we are not competitive with our marginal tax rate against many other countries with whom we compete," Mr Ross said.

"Take, for example, Mexico. The corporate tax rate there is about half of what it is in our country, and that's true of the tax rates in many of the other countries," Mr Ross told the Senate committee.

Mr Ross has a long history with Ireland, having previously invested in our financial sector at the height of the recession.

He purchased shares in struggling Irish lender Bank of Ireland (BOI) in 2011 when few international investors would contemplate investing in Irish bank stocks.

He sold the shares in 2014, recouping an estimated $500m profit in the process.

But Mr Ross' intervention on the issue of corporation tax will have done little to soothe the concerns of Irish policymakers, who are attempting to chart a course for the country's economy against a backdrop of myriad external challenges.

Irish Independent

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