EU challenges Trump on Tax Avoidance

06.07.2017 - Pressenza London

EU challenges Trump on Tax Avoidance
The "Trump" Card (Image by Trocche100 at Italian Wikipedia, public domain)

PRESS RELEASE: Tax Justice Network

EU letter ahead of Hamburg summit sets out clear demands on tax avoidance.

The European Union has published a letter to EU Heads of State setting out their common position ahead of the G20 summit this weekend. The letter lays down a direct challenge to the Trump administration on the issues of tax avoidance, tax evasion and anonymous ownership of companies, trusts and foundations (See the TJN website for a more detailed analysis of the letter).

The letter says that countries not signing up to agreed international standards on tax transparency should “bare the consequences” and face sanctions for non-compliance.

The USA have refused to sign up to the globally accepted standards on the exchange of banking information between countries (the OECD Common Reporting Standard) and has not implemented measures to make sure US companies publicly disclose their owners, a key measure in the the fight against tax evasion and terrorist financing.

Commenting on the publication of the letter, Markus Meinzer, board member of the Tax Justice Network said:

“The US has been very aggressive in compelling foreign countries to disclose their information to US tax authorities, but so far has refused to provide the same information about US companies and banks to others. This has led to real fears that the US is turning itself into one of the world’s largest tax havens.

“It is great to see the EU taking a stand on these issues, but it is now time for them to put their money where their mouth is and blacklist the US as a tax haven.

“The EU is the only player with the economic power to persuade the USA to mend their ways.”


  1. The Tax Justice Network is a research and advocacy organisation dedicated to the study of tax havens and tax abuse by multinational companies.
  2. The letter from Jean Claude Junker and Donald Tusk to EU Heads of State can be found here.
  3. TJN has argued last year that the EU was the only institution that would be able to bring sufficient pressure to bare on US financial institutions to force compliance with international standards on tax transparency. More details can be found here.
  4. More background on how the US operates as a tax haven can be found here, and here.
Categories: Economics, International, Press Releases


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