(Reuters) – The Group of Seven rich nations struck a landmark deal on Saturday to close cross-border tax loopholes used by some of the world’s biggest companies.
Below are reactions:
RISHI SUNAK, UK FINANCE MINISTER AND MEETING HOST
“After years of discussion, G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age.”
Asked for an estimate of how much the agreement could raise for Britain, Sunak replied: “This is the first step, this is agreement reached at the G7, we still have to go to the G20 and reach agreement with a broader group of countries so it’s hard to say where the final deal will land.”
JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY
“This negotiation has been going on for, I believe, eight years. It stalled under the Trump administration. And so I really consider this a historic achievement, and it shows that multilateral collaboration can be successful.”
Asked whether Amazon and Facebook would be covered by the proposal, Yellen said: “It will include large profitable firms and those firms, I believe, will qualify by almost any definition.”
On support for the economic recovery, she said: “G7 economies have the fiscal space to speed up their recoveries to not only reach pre-COVID levels of GDP but also to support a return to pre-pandemic growth paths,” Yellen said. “This is why we continue to urge a shift in our thinking from ‘let’s not withdraw support too early’ to ‘what more can we do now.'”
NICK CLEGG, FACEBOOK HEAD OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS
“Facebook has long called for reform of the global tax rules and we welcome the important progress made at the G7. Today’s agreement is a significant first step towards certainty for businesses and strengthening public confidence in the global tax system.
“We want the international tax reform process to succeed and recognize this could mean Facebook paying more tax, and in different places.”
CAMPAIGN GROUP OXFAM
“It’s absurd for the G7 to claim it is ‘overhauling a broken global tax system’ by setting up a global minimum corporate tax rate that is similar to the soft rates charged by tax havens like Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore. They are setting the bar so low that companies can just step over it.
“Stopping the explosion in inequality caused by COVID-19 and tackling the climate crisis will be impossible if corporations continue to pay virtually no tax …. This is not a fair deal.
“The G7 can’t expect the majority of the world’s countries to accept crumbs from its table.”
OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER
“The seven most important industrial nations have today backed the concept of minimum taxation for companies. That is very good news for tax justice and solidarity and bad news for tax havens around the world.
“Companies will no longer be in a position to dodge their tax obligations by booking their profits in lowest-tax countries. Stable tax revenues are important for making sure states can carry out their duties. This will be even more urgent after the coronavirus pandemic.”
BRUNO LE MAIRE, FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER
“This is a starting point and in the coming months we will fight to ensure that this minimum corporate tax rate is as high as possible.”
CHRYSTIA FREELAND, CANADIAN FINANCE MINISTER
“Multinational corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes and the G7 has just outlined a path to make this possible. This is good news for Canadians and Canadian businesses, and will ensure a fair and level playing field for them in the global economy.”
DANIELE FRANCO, ITALIAN ECONOMY MINISTER
“We trust we will find an agreement also at the G20 level in order for these pillars (rules) to become a point of reference for global taxation.”
“We believe an OECD-led process that creates a multilateral solution will help bring stability to the international tax system. The agreement by the G7 marks a welcome step forward in the effort to achieve this goal.
“We hope to see discussions continue to advance with the broader G20 and Inclusive Framework alliance.”
“We strongly support the work being done to update international tax rules. We hope countries continue to work together to ensure a balanced and durable agreement will be finalised soon.”
JASON OXMAN, CEO OF TECH TRADE ASSOCIATION ITI
“ITI urges (the OECD/G20 efforts) to promote an approach that embodies sound tax policy objectives, provides for predictable and timely dispute prevention and resolution, and brings much-needed certainty.
“Further, we recognize the G7 Ministers’ commitment to remove all digital services taxes, which should happen at the time of political agreement to avoid further fragmentation of the international tax system and adverse implications for all industries that do business across borders.”
PASCHAL DONOHOE, IRISH FINANCE MINISTER
“It is in everyone’s interest to achieve a sustainable, ambitious and equitable agreement on the international tax architecture. (Ireland has a tax rate of 12.5%).
“I look forward now to engaging in the discussions at OECD. There are 139 countries at the table, and any agreement will have to meet the needs of small and large countries, developed and developing.”
PAOLO GENTILONI, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMY
“Big step taken by the G7 towards an unprecedented global agreement on tax reform. The EU Commission will contribute actively to making that happen at next month’s G20 in Venice.”
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Alexander Smith, Mark Potter and Frances Kerry)