herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Clinton slams Pfizer Allergan merger deal

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

US presidential hopefuls have lined up to slam drug giant Pfizer's planned move to become tax resident in Ireland.

Democrats heaped the most criticism on the New York-based drug maker, with Hillary Clinton accusing Pfizer of using legal loopholes to avoid its "fair share" of taxes in a deal that she said "will leave US taxpayers holding the bag".

Pfizer will shift its global headquarters to Ireland for tax purposes, following a deal to merge with smaller Dublin-based rival Allergan in a transaction that is expected to close next year.

US politicians have condemned the deal, which means Pfizer's global profits will potentially be liable for tax at Ireland's 12.5pc rate instead of the 35pc levied in the US.

The White House declined to comment on Pfizer's deal, but a spokesman for US President Barack Obama told reporters that Congress should take action to prevent more such transactions.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in the November 2016 election said she will propose steps to prevent more inversions, but she did not provide details.

"We cannot delay in cracking down on inversions that erode our tax base," said the ex-US secretary of state and former New York senator in a statement.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for a corporate tax overhaul, called the deal "disgusting" in a statement.

He said the country's "politicians should be ashamed".

Pfizer is doing the largest so-called tax inversion deal of all time.

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