White House urges more countries to sign 15% global corporate tax pledge

WASHINGTON – White House economic adviser Brian Deese said on Friday that the United States is still working to get more countries to join a deal signed this week by 130 countries supporting a global minimum corporate tax of at minus 15%.

The deal will help build momentum for pressure from President Joe Biden to raise corporate tax rates in his country, while helping to increase the income needed for a variety of investments, Deese told reporters at the White House.

Officials from 130 of the 139 countries participating in talks led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development agreed on Thursday on a comprehensive overhaul of international corporate tax rules.

Among the holdouts were Ireland, Hungary and Estonia, all members of the European Union who sought to attract investment with low tax rates.

“It’s a process,” Deese said. “We will continue to work on it. We are not there yet. It is an important step in the process, but a real strong signal of momentum towards the ultimate goal.”

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters after a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that he expected the EU to implement the global tax deal swiftly despite the refusal of several members to sign the agreement.

“I am optimistic,” he said, adding that he expected the Group of 20 major economies to join the Group of Seven (G7) countries in approving the plan at the meeting of officials. G7 finances next week in Venice.

The OECD said an implementation plan and other outstanding issues would be finalized by October, with the agreement due to be implemented in 2023, according to the OECD.

International Monetary Fund President Kristalina Georgieva also urged reluctant countries to join the deal on Thursday, saying it would be in their own best interests to do so. —Reuters

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