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The Corporate Tax and American Sovereignty
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee February 24, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Corporate Tax and American Sovereignty

Thomas J. Duesterberg

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has a grand idea: a global tax regime. She envisions a minimum corporate tax standardized across the developed world and expanded authority for nations to tax multinational corporations. Together with the Biden administration’s plan to raise the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% and eliminate preferences, it would return the U.S. to its pre-2017 status as a high-tax jurisdiction, discouraging domestic capital investment and production. More insidious, it would cede authority over taxation, one of the pillars of democratic governance, to some ill-defined international technocratic body or group of experts.

Such erosion of sovereign democratic oversight should be recognizable. It has long characterized Europe and is part and parcel of the European Union’s ambition to become a global regulatory superpower.

Ms. Yellen’s proposal arises out of the longstanding efforts of major European nations to extend their taxing power over U.S. technology firms through so-called digital taxes. Initiatives from France, Austria, Italy and the U.K. threatened to undermine efforts to harmonize corporate taxation in the EU and open a new front in a trade war with the U.S. Given the need for unanimous approval for EU laws and opposition from Ireland and some Northern European member states, European leaders shifted the debate to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, a group of 37 high-income countries including the U.S.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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