European Commission Criticized Over Apple Case

Following the EU's decision on Apple Ireland case, several US politicians including treasury secretary Jack Lew have strongly criticized the European Commission over its conclusion. The International Chamber of Commerce have expressed strong disagreements and warned against possible negative outcomes of the decision.

International Chamber of Commerce

In response to the Apple case, the biggest single case in a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance across the EU, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) stated that such a unilateral approach casted doubt over the previous collaborative efforts between the European Union and United States. "This could give rise to increased tax competition and disputes in relation to tax treaties among nations, and especially between the US and other EU countries," the organization stated.

 ICC argued that the decision could undermine the trade negotiations between the EU and US and have negative effects on foreign direct investment in the EU."We believe that the Commission should ensure the integrity and legal certainty of the tax system which remains critical for businesses seeking to invest in the EU," said Christian Kaeser, Global Head of Tax at Siemens and Chair of the ICC Commission on Taxation.

Response of the Treasury

The US Treasury department issued a rare warning on Wednesday that the EU was becoming a “supranational tax authority” that reviews member state decisions on corporate tax. It has said that Europe is unfairly targeting American companies and hurting global efforts to curtail tax avoidance.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, called it a “cheap money grab” by the European Commission, “targeting U.S. businesses and the U.S. tax base.” The Senate Finance Committee chairman, Orrin G. Hatch, said that the decision “encroaches on U.S. tax jurisdiction.”

The European Commission's Competition chief Margrethe Vestager will meet U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Washington later in September.

Sources: ICC, Financial Times, Reuters



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