Finance Ministers Say the GOP Tax Bill Could Be Disastrous

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Finance ministers from Europe's largest economies and our most important regional trade partners have signed a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warning him that the congressional Republican tax bill may violate treaties and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

They also say new taxes intended to prevent businesses from moving overseas will likely have unintended consequences, preventing investment by foreign companies in the US.

In the letter, seen by Reuters, the finance ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain said a proposed excise tax would contravene World Trade Organisation rules and violate double taxation treaties and could hamper trade and investment flows between Europe and the U.S.

They also warned that a proposed “base erosion and anti-abuse tax” may target genuine commercial arrangements involving payments to foreign companies, harming international banking and insurance businesses and discouraging non-U.S. financial institutions from operating in the U.S.

I think this gives us important context.

If it's true that the GOP tax cut bill will violate WTO rules, it may explain why Trump and his henchmen have been attacking the WTO. They may be preemptively smearing the organization anticipating that other nations may file complaints against us. Now that I think about it, that explanation makes the most sense because there haven't been any other recent high profile cases that would prompt Trump to tweet about it. Moreover, American wins over 85 percent of our disputes at the WTO.

I'm sure many Americans don't give two shits what European finance ministers say about the GOP plan, but what they're saying is fewer foreign companies will want to do business in America. That means fewer jobs for Americans.

This isn't an "America first" thing, it's more of an "America never" thing. If they don't invest here, they'll invest somewhere else. We aren't punishing them as much as we're punishing ourselves.

Sometimes I think most Americans, even liberals who generally grasp how the world works, don't understand that America could become irrelevant if we aren't careful.

Maybe America should be irrelevant if the rest of the world can't count on American voters to not elect men like Trump. American voters are now a liability to global stability.

  • Aynwrong

    “American voters are now a liability to global stability.”

    True. Truer words were never spoken. The denigration of America continues.

  • muselet

    Nothing like a good, old-fashioned trade war to Make America Great Again, amirite?


  • Who cooda knowed?

    Uh, we did, right? We did, the readers of this website.

    Is this what it felt like to be a citizen of the Byzantine Empire?

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