Bringing Us Together, IX: Ireland Objects

By May 6, 2009Taxation

From The Irish Echo Online, the U.S.-based publication of Irish news, “Obama tax move targets Ireland too

May 6, 2009 Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama placed Ireland straight in the crosshairs this week as he took aim at reforming corporate tax laws regulating overseas profits generated by U.S. companies.

And there were indications from Dublin that the Irish government was prepared to battle what is clearly more bad news for the country’s embattled economy by calling for help from sympathetic members of Congress.

“The economy has been dealt a serious blow with the U.S. government signaling it is to target €2.5 billion of Irish tax revenues in broad economic reforms,” the Cork-published Irish Examiner reported.

From The Irish Herald, “Obama to visit Ireland.” Good timing!

To be fair, the story is based solely Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) saying, you bet he’ll come. And it is a safe bet. Rep. Neal had interesting things to say about the President’s news conference on taxation.

“Ireland should not have been on that list,” he said, before pointing out the significance of the fact President Obama did not mention Ireland at his press conference about tightening up tax rules. Asked whether Ireland could rely on him to lobby the US government, Congressman Neal was hesitant, but did indicate that he is not keen to see all of these companies being forced back into the States. “That’s a pretty heavy lift” he said. “The idea is to keep American companies competitive in a global economic environment.”

And, as noted below, the White House quickly retreated and retracted the targeting of Ireland (and Holland and Bermuda). Now if the President would do the same for U.S. corporations with international operations.

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