December 7, 2022

Reactions trail G20 leaders’ agreement on global minimum tax on corporations

US President Joe Biden attends the G20 of World Leaders Summit in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Photo: White House
US President Joe Biden attends the G20 of World Leaders Summit in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Photo: White House

At the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, international leaders agreed to a 15 percent corporate minimum tax, stopping the race to the bottom that has led to American jobs going overseas and corporate profits being hidden. 

The White House said President Biden is “confident this tax will also be reflected by Congress in his Build Back Better Agenda.”

“It’s time for corporations to pay their fair share, and this agreement represents an important step in leveling the playing field for American businesses and workers. In the race for the 21st century, and President Biden believes in American competitiveness over complacency,” added the White House.

Political and economic leaders applauded the significant milestone, broadly viewed as almost impossible when President Biden took up the effort this year.

See below for what they are saying:

Jacob Lew, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary: “This historic deal will increase incentives to invest in workers and workplaces and ensure that large and profitable corporations do not escape taxation. Further, it demonstrates the power of diplomacy to enhance U.S. leadership around the world. … the Administration embraced multilateral leadership to strengthen the global economy while serving the interests of working American families.” [Op-ed, 10/30/21]

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA): “The American people know all too well that the tax system is rigged. That includes giant profitable companies getting away with paying $0 in taxes. That has to end. I’m working with Democratic colleagues to pass a Corporate Minimum Tax to ensure corporations pay what they owe.” [Tweet, 10/30/21]

CNN: “President Joe Biden’s first day at the Group of 20 Summit began Saturday with the President achieving one of his core objectives for the global conference — an endorsement of a 15% global minimum tax from world leaders. The tax is a chief priority of Biden’s that the White House believes would end the global race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates. The new rule will be formalized when the leaders release a final G20 communiqué on Sunday, when the summit ends. All leaders of the G20 came out in support for a global minimum tax during the summit’s first session, a senior US administration official said.” [Article, 10/30/21]

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. meets with Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, on the margins of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Photo: White House

Jeff Stein, Washington Post: “Avg. corporate tax rate globally, 1980: 40%. Avg. corporate tax rate globally, 2020: 23%. We’ve been witnessing the move toward global extinction of corporate taxation World leaders in Rome taking 1st steps to reverse that trend w/ new global minimum” [Tweet, 10/30/21]

US President Joe Biden (R) and DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi joke at the G20 of World Leaders Summit in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Photo: White House

Washington Post: “President Biden and the other national leaders gathered for the Group of 20 summit formally endorsed a new global minimum tax on Saturday, capping months of negotiations over the groundbreaking tax accord. The new global minimum tax of 15 percent aims to reverse the decades-long decline in tax rates on corporations across the world, a trend experts say has deprived governments of revenue to fund social spending programs. The deal is a key achievement for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who made an international floor on corporate taxes among the top priorities of her tenure and pushed forcefully for swift action on a deal.” [Article, 10/30/21]

New York Times: “The announcement in the opening session of the Group of 20 summit marked the world’s most aggressive attempt yet to stop opportunistic companies like Apple and Bristol Myers Squibb from sheltering profits in so-called tax havens, where tax rates are low and corporations often maintain little physical presence beyond an official headquarters. … The international tax agreement represented a significant achievement of economic diplomacy for Mr. Biden and Ms. Yellen, who dedicated much of her first year on the job to reviving negotiations that stalled during the Trump administration.” [Article, 10/30/21]

NBC: “President Joe Biden and other world leaders voiced their support for a global corporate minimum tax at Saturday’s closed-door G-20 summit, a monumental agreement that U.S. officials are hoping will lead to an increase in revenue to fund Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Following the first plenary session on Saturday, a senior Biden administration official said that the leaders ‘all came out in support of a global minimum tax.’ … An administration official said that the global corporate minimum tax would lead to at least $60 billion in additional revenue every year in the U.S. alone.” [Article, 10/30/21]

CBS News/Associated Press: “Leaders of the world’s biggest economies on Saturday endorsed a global minimum tax on corporations as part of an agreement on new international tax rules, a step toward building more fairness amid skyrocketing revenues of some multinational businesses. The move by the Group of 20 summit in Rome was hailed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen as benefiting American businesses and workers.” [Article, 10/30/21]

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