Michele Bachmann has stated that one of her first steps as president would be to get 100,000 jobs created in Ireland by US companies back to America.
The Republican presidential candidate was speaking in Florida at the weekend giving what ‘The New York Times’ called her first detailed economic speech.
“There are over 600 American companies that have gone to Ireland because of the tax rate. Over 100,000 jobs. I want those 100,000 jobs back in the United States.” she stated.
Bachmann also called for a tax holiday for American companies on profits made in Ireland and elsewhere abroad if they bring such profits back to the US.
She stated it is “the easiest thing the president could do, and he could do it today.”
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“American companies have sitting in the bank over a trillion dollars,” Bachmann said. “If we had a zero rate of repatriation, by the afternoon that trillion dollars would be back in the United States. Do you have any idea of how many jobs would be created?”
It is not the first time that Bachmann has focused on Ireland and the jobs created by American companies there.
Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate has lured many major US corporations to set up European operations there but has been controversial back in the US.
However, giants such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, Google, also use Ireland as their springboard to the European Union common market and need to be positioned on European soil to take proper advantage of that.
Foreign companies in Ireland currently export goods to the value of about $70 billion a year. They employ 240,000 people and account for 65 per cent of all corporate taxation paid in Ireland.
Any move to repatriate US corporation jobs back to the US would create a massive financial headache for the Irish economy .
Bachmann is the latest US politician to target US corporations abroad doing business in Ireland. During that last election GOP contender John McCain also raised the issue .
Bachmann has now moved as the issue of transfer pricing, essentially tax shelters used by US corporations in countries like Ireland threatens to become center stage.
Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. companies amassed at least $1 trillion in foreign profits not taxed in the U.S. as of the end of last year,/ That cumulative total, based on filings by 135 companies, increased 70 percent over three years, from $590 billion in 2006.”
It’s also not the first time Bachmann has invoked Ireland in her speeches.Bachmann claims she has visited Ireland in a 2007 press release “Last July, I was fortunate enough to meet with our soldiers and military officials in Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Ireland and Germany."
However that claim to have visited Ireland has been disputed and her office has refused to issue any details despite being pressed don the issue.