US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has praised Ireland for not raising taxes during the recession, saying that the country has done an “amazing job”.
In an interview with the Economist, Trump discussed a range of issues but – unprompted – singled out Ireland for its approach to corporate taxes.
The interviewer had asked the president how he would calculate success in his economic policies, and if it would be similar to how he judges the success of his businesses.
Trump replied that a lot of companies had been forced out of the US because of high taxes and added that there are some that would return if the environment was more business-friendly.
He then cited Ireland as an example of a country that created such an environment, even during the economic downturn.
“You look at Ireland. I own great property in Ireland that I bought during the downturn. And I give the Irish a lot, a lot of credit,” Trump said.
“They never raised their taxes. You know you would have thought when they were going through that really … they would’ve double and tripled their taxes. They never raised it a penny.
“And they got through it and they are thriving now. Ireland’s done an amazing job. A lot of companies have moved to Ireland and they like it.”
Trump tax plans
Trump plans to slash US corporate taxes from 35% to 15% – close to Ireland’s headline rate of 12.5% – although those proposals are likely to run into stiff opposition in Congress.
In the Economist interview, the president went on to say that companies would return to the US in their droves once he freed up some regulatory barriers and lowered the corporate tax rate.
The wide-ranging interview covered a range of Trump’s policies, including trade deals, his negotiating tactics and immigration.
He also spoke about tax inversions, calling them a “disaster”. As a presidential candidate, he raised the issue when pharma giant Pfizer was plotting to merge with a smaller firm and shift its tax base to Ireland.
“Apple and all of these great companies will be making their products in the United States. We’re not going to be losing our companies,” he said at the time.
“Our companies are leaving our country rapidly, whether it’s Carrier air conditioning, whether it’s Ford, whether it’s Eaton … Pfizer, great company … they’re going to Ireland, and there’s so many more.”
Written by Sean Murray and posted on TheJournal.ie