Europe welcomes a US proposal to impose a minimum of 15% tax on companies worldwide

European UnionArab and international

Economy News – Baghdad

Europe enthusiastically welcomed the administration’s proposal to impose a minimum tax on corporate profits of at least 15% globally, bringing the world closer to a bargain on sweeping changes in how much multinational corporations pay and where they pay governments.

“This is really a big progress,” said German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz upon arrival at a meeting with his European counterparts in Lisbon, minutes after his French counterpart also gave a positive reaction.

“We will really have a chance over the summer to get a deal, and a deal that we’ve been working on for a long time,” Schultes added.

Soon deal

The latest proposal in the race for an agreement between 139 countries is to impose a tax of less than 21%, previously proposed by the United States on corporate profits abroad, a rate considered high by some countries.

Before President Joe Biden arrived at the White House, talks at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development focused on a tax rate of 12.5%, as a minimum.

While hurdles remain, including a row over the treatment of digital giants like Facebook and Alphabet, which owns Google, the momentum from the Biden administration has led to a shift in negotiations between member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It bogged down for years, due to more technical complications, bickering across the Atlantic and trade tensions.

The looming deal increases the likelihood of significantly higher bills for the world’s largest companies.

Boost government revenues

In 2020, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that the global minimum tax rate, in addition to the US rules themselves, would boost government revenues by about $ 100 billion annually, a number that would rise if a higher tax rate was adopted.

The recent US proposal for a 15% tax rate is only half the truth, because the minimum issue is only one of the two pillars in the OECD negotiations.

European countries welcomed Biden’s separate proposal on the thorny issue of where companies face paying taxes. But talks about that are still ongoing.

The United States has proposed a simpler and narrower scope, with tax revenues cut from the 100 or so largest multinational corporations.

But officials in other countries have doubts about whether the proposed tax rate will cover all the digital giants that they want to target, and there are special concerns that “Amazon” may not be covered by the new taxes.

The US proposal for the first pillar could also bring about significant changes to effective tax rates, particularly for tech-device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, according to research by Morgan Stanley.

French reaction

Upon arriving at the Lisbon meeting, the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said, “The main issue is not the tax rate, even if at 15%. It could be a good compromise between the expectations of all OECD members .. The main issue is Defining a global framework for taxes on digital companies and minimum taxes.

The new US proposal still faces opposition from countries such as Ireland, which impose low taxes on companies as part of a major economic development strategy.

Irish Finance Minister Paschall Donohue said last month that taxes could be part of a competitive offer for small countries, and that his government’s reservations about such a global measure “could be very strong”.

According to a spokeswoman for Donohue, he has taken note of the comments made by the US Treasury Department, and is looking forward to discussing the matter further with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

For his part, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, speaking to reporters in Tokyo, said that the US proposal represents progress, despite the need for more talks. Aso added that he expects a move towards global agreements, including taxes on digital companies, at the G20 summer meeting, but that final agreements may be reached later in 2021.

The tax-cutting race

Secretary Yellen is making an ambitious effort to end the “global race to the bottom” on corporate taxation. This competition has eroded revenues from governments that raised their record levels of debt amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Yellen’s approach marked a shift from the Trump administration’s style and stimulated talks between nearly 140 countries on the issue. “It is imperative for multilateral action to end the pressure of corporate tax competition and the erosion of the corporate tax base,” the Treasury Department said in a statement on Thursday. The ministry stressed that 15% is the minimum, and that discussions should continue to be ambitious and push this rate higher.

The US Treasury Department’s proposal to impose a global corporate tax minimum of at least 15% comes on Thursday before a scheduled meeting on June 4-5 of the “Group of Seven” finance ministers in London, which will serve as a forum for major industrialized countries to reach consensus.

The Biden administration also hopes to reach a broad agreement among the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on a global minimum corporate tax rate, before Democratic lawmakers in Congress push for an increase in taxes on US companies.

The White House has proposed raising the tax rate to 28% for domestic companies, from 21%, to help save $ 4 trillion in long-term economic programs for President Joe Biden.

Starting next week, the Peshmerga forces will return to Kirkuk

SecurityKirkukThe Peshmergabreaking 2021-05-21 15:51A-AA +

Shafaq News / A military source said, on Friday, that the Peshmerga forces will start returning to Kirkuk governorate, starting from next week, after the agreement with the federal government.

The source, who is from the Peshmerga forces, told Shafaq News that 8 officers from Brigades 1 and 2 of the Peshmerga forces will join the joint operations room at the “K-One” base in Kirkuk next Sunday.

He added that within 7 to 15 days, the first company of the Peshmerga forces will return to Kirkuk governorate, for the first time since their withdrawal in October 2017, following tensions with the Iraqi army over the background of the independence referendum.

The source indicated that the Peshmerga forces will gradually return to Kirkuk if all goes well, until the deployment of two full Peshmerga brigades in the governorate by next August.

The Peshmerga forces withdrew from Kirkuk to avoid a clash with the federal government forces that advanced towards the province against the backdrop of tensions resulting from the independence referendum.

Before that, the governorate was administered jointly by the two sides for security.

Since last year, tension between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region has gradually eased, and the two sides have reached an agreement to form joint coordination centers to fight ISIS, especially in the areas of security vacuums between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga.

US delegations flock to the Middle East as Biden ups engagement

Blinken to visit Israel and Palestine while his deputy Wendy Sherman heads to Turkey

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Israeli, Palestinian and other regional leaders. AFP
Joyce Karam

Joyce Karam

May 21, 2021

At least five US delegations are currently in the Middle East or preparing to head there as the Biden administration steps up its regional engagement following 11 days of war between Israel and Hamas.

Observers point to the flurry of visits as evidence US President Joe Biden will work more on the Middle East after largely ignoring it during his first few months in office and instead focusing on Russia, China and domestic issues.

The most senior delegation will be led by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will visit Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan in the coming days and is expected to build on the de-escalation momentum and recovery push following Friday’s ceasefire.

The State Department announced the trip late Thursday after Mr Blinken called Israeli Foreign Minister Gaby Ashkenazi.

“The foreign minister welcomed Secretary Blinken’s planned travel to the region, where the secretary will meet Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts in the coming days to discuss recovery efforts and working together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians,” the State Department said.


Israeli news website Wallareported that Mr Blinken would visit Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt.

It will be Mr Blinken’s first trip to the Middle East since Mr Biden took office in January.

Final dates and stops for the trip were expected to be announced on Friday.

The West Bank visit to meet the Palestinian Authority marks a departure from the former Trump administration, which broke relations with the body in 2018. Mr Blinken called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday. 

Mr Blinken’s visit comes on the heels of three other US delegations that were sent to the region.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Hady Amr is in Jerusalem, acting Assistant Secretary Joey Hood concluded his visit to North East Syria, Libya and Tunisia on Friday, and the head of the Pentagon’s Central Command, Gen Frank McKenzie, visited Iraq this week.

The flurry of visits from Biden officials represents a late acknowledgement of how critical the Middle East is even as the US tries to shift focus to Russia and China, said Ryan Bohl, a senior analyst at the intelligence group Stratfor.

“The Biden team received a brutal reminder about why the Middle East matters through the events in the Israeli-Palestinian arena,” Mr Bohl told The National.

The visits, he said, are “a combination of the White House finally beginning their normal diplomatic outreach and a realisation that if they are not paying close attention to events in the region and have a strategy to get ahead of a crisis, it could come back to affect them domestically.”

Mr Biden drew criticism domestically and internationally for his handling of the Gaza crisis and his administration ignored early warnings about the situation in Jerusalem. He still has not nominated an ambassador to Israel.

The State Department also announced on Friday that deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will next week travel to Turkey, where US relations remain tense with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Deputy Secretary Sherman will underscore the importance of the US-Turkey relationship as we work together with our Nato ally to confront mutual challenges and discuss areas of concern,” the State Department said.

Ms Sherman will also visit Brussels, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Honolulu between May 25 and June 4.Published: May 21, 2021 10:5




21 May 2021 Washington-Eastern May 21: The US State Department announced that Anthony Blinken will travel to the Middle East in the coming days after the truce agreement in Gaza
. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Blinken will meet with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and his counterparts from the region and discuss reconstruction efforts with them. Building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians. “