Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has denied that a senior Biden administration official put pressure on Ireland to sign up to a deal on a global minimum corporate tax rate.
Mr Varadkar visited Washington DC this week where he made clear Ireland needs assurances that a global minimum corporate tax rate will not change, and will be implemented by all the countries that commit to it.
He said he insisted in meetings with business representatives that Ireland remains a good investment location despite the uncertainty over the State’s 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate, The Irish Times reports.
There is international pressure on Ireland to sign up to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) deal, which is centred around a 15 per cent global minimum rate.
The Government is likely to agree to an increase in Ireland’s corporate tax rate, however they are seeking a commitment to 15 per cent rather than “at least 15 per cent”.
The Minister for Enterprise and Trade held meetings with his US counterparts, secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo and ambassador Katherine Tai, United States trade representative, on Monday.
A statement from Ms Tai's office outlined how she “highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s support for a strong global minimum tax, and explained how this policy could achieve more equitable and inclusive economic growth”.
Mr Varadkar denied that this was essentially pressure on Ireland from the Biden administration.
He said: “We had a meeting for over an hour. It maybe took up 10 minutes of the meeting, it was an issue that she raised and wanted to talk about.”
He said she explained how the deal is a priority for US president Joe Biden “but also gave me an opportunity to explain the Irish position and why we believe retaining tax sovereignty and having a low and reliable rate is a big part of our industrial policy”.
Mr Varadkar said he reminded her this was not the only reason for the success of the Irish economy but is “an important part nonetheless”.