Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has landed in Washington DC for a series of trade and trade talks as international scrutiny intensifies over whether or not the country will raise its corporate tax rate.
Varadkar, who is also Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, will meet with the United States Chamber of Commerce on the trip and is expected to seek reassurance to trade players that Ireland remains a place viable investment.
Ireland is under pressure, with one of the OECD members refusing to endorse the 15% minimum global corporate tax rate agreed by 130 countries earlier this year.
During his trip to the United States last week, Prime Minister Micheál Martin signaled that Ireland could increase its rate by 12.5%. This is currently a key incentive for many multinationals who have made the country their European base, but Martin ultimately refused to commit to change. A major concern for Ireland is that the ‘minimum’ provision could lead other players to seek future increases.
Ahead of his departure for the United States, Varadkar stressed the importance of trade in fueling the pandemic recovery, saying Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for foreign investment would be vital in promoting full employment.
Varadkar will also meet bilaterally with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai to discuss a number of issues including the EU-US Council on Trade and Technology, including the inaugural meeting is to be held in Pittsburg later this week.
(Molly Killeen, EURACTIV.com)