U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that deterring the use of tax havens will let countries compete on economic fundamentals — instead of by offering ever-lower tax rates that deprive governments of money for infrastructure and education.
Yellen spoke after finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies endorsed a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15%, a measure aimed at putting a floor under tax rates and discouraging companies from using low-rate countries as tax havens.
“This deal will end the race to the bottom,” she said at a news conference after the end of the meeting in Venice.
“Instead of asking the question: ‘Who can offer the lowest tax rate?,’ it will allow all of our countries to compete on the basis of economic fundamentals – on the skill of our workforces, our capacity to innovate, and the strength of our legal and economic institutions.”
“And this deal will give our nations the ability to raise the necessary funding for important public goods like infrastructure, R&D, and education.”
The global minimum proposal faces political and technical hurdles before it would take effect. Details are to be ironed out in coming weeks at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, followed by a final endorsement by presidents and prime ministers of the Group of 20 at an Oct. 30-31 meeting in Rome.
Countries would then need to legislate the rate into their own…