“major distortive impact on international trade”

That’s the claim of European nations–Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK—as they worry about the drop in corporate tax rates that the House and Senate bills propose.

Well, of course.  They also don’t like the highly competitive tax rates applied by Ireland and Luxembourg and routinely excoriate those nations for having the temerity of competing via tax treatment for business.  While the nations bleat about double taxation and how European businesses operating in the US would be at a tax disadvantage compared to US companies operating in the US, here’s the nub of the thing:

Even without those provisions, the reform would leave US businesses facing lower domestic-tax rates than some of their European peers, putting governments under pressure to reciprocate.

The horror.  And those nations—and the EU generally—still have not justified either their high tax rates or their high spending rates that underlie those tax rates.  The nations also have exposed their hypocrisy:

[T]he proposed “base erosion and anti-abuse tax provision” contained in the Senate bill could harm international banking and insurance businesses because it would treat cross-border financial transactions between a company and a subsidiary as nondeductible, subjecting it to a 10% tax[.]

Never mind that the EU already is attacking the international banking industry (and the insurance industry won’t be far behind) by demanding a tax on all financial transactions (currently masqueraded as a tax on investment transactions, but what else does an international bank do?), which itself can only depress international banking.  But hey, it’s a tax, so it’s all good.  Or so insist the Know Betters of EU Big Government.

The UK’s concern is especially interesting both as that nation drifts away from Thatcherism, even in its allegedly Conservative coalition and as the UK stands to make out like bandits in international trade following Brexit and the loss of EU fetters on its economy (always assuming the timid May government doesn’t surrender the farm in the face of EU intransigence).

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