'Our rate will remain at 12.5 per cent' - Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets Apple boss Tim Cook in California
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has met Apple boss Tim Cook at the tech giant's California headquarters.
The pair discussed the European Commission's ruling that Ireland must seek €13bn in back taxes from Apple.
Mr Kenny emphasised Ireland's rejection of the Commission's decision last summer that Apple's tax arrangements amounted to illegal state aid.
Mr Kenny outlined how Ireland has already lodged its appeal of the ruling in a European court. Apple has previously indicated it intends to appeal as well.
The Taoiseach said they also discussed the companies expansion in Cork and its data storage centre being developed in Athenry, Co Galway.
Mr Kenny has said he has no concerns that the Commission's ruling may threaten the tech giant's future in Ireland saying: "Apple are very happy in Cork."
Mr Kenny is on a three-day visit to the United States where his message is that “Ireland is very much open for business”.
He referred to US president-elect Donald Trump who has indicated that he will lower American corporation tax rates with a view to bringing businesses back to the States.
He said that Mr Trump's administration "will decide its own view about its level of corporate tax and that is a matter for the American administration."
"I have pointed out that Ireland, no more than any other European Union country, has competence in respect of compensation.
"Our rate is 12.5 per cent and will remain at 12.5 per cent," he said.
Mr Kenny added: "I reassured Apple that Ireland would be remaining as a member of the European Union and obviously when negotiations on Brexit start we will negotiate from that perspective."
Mr Kenny said that during his visit to the US he is telling buisnesspeople: "we're a country that is very attractive location for investment from abroad, particularly based on the quality of our young people, our flexibility and education system to be able to move and meet the challenges that are up ahead.”
Mr Kenny is this evening addressing members of the San Francisco Bay Area Economic Council at Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters. He also met several Irish staff members that work for the social media firm.
Mr Kenny has a series of engagements scheduled with business people in New York tomorrow.