Inside Business Podcast: Threat from Trump’s tax plans

Prospect of special levy on imports is the biggest issue for Ireland

 Donald Trump has promised to introduce sweeping reforms to the US tax system, but uncertainty remains about what  he will do. Photograph:  Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump has promised to introduce sweeping reforms to the US tax system, but uncertainty remains about what he will do. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images

 

US president Donald Trump has promised to introduce sweeping reforms to the US tax system, but uncertainty remains about what exactly he will do.

On this week’s Inside Business Podcast, Peter Vale, tax partner with Grant Thornton, says the proposed Border Adjustment Tax is the single biggest issue facing Ireland, if it goes through.

Under this plan, US companies would have a financial incentive to export, but could be penalised if they manufactured products outside the US for sale on the home market.

Some investment decisions by major US companies looking at plants or expansions here have been put on hold pending resolution of that uncertainty, according to Mr Vale.

LISTEN: Inside Business Podcast

Travel ban dominates

Newly installed Irish Times Washington Correspondent Suzanne Lynch said tax has not been the focus of the Trump administration so far, with immigration and the travel ban dominating discussion.

However, there is an expectation of some detail on the president’s tax reform plan by the middle of the year.

Also on the podcast, Irish Times columnist Chris Johns spoke about the need for some radical thinking in the face of Trump’s proposed reforms.

Ireland is one of the most open trading economies in the world, he said, and any hit to world trade is potentially very serious.

“If there is any kind of a trade war coming there is no good news for Ireland in that at all,” he added.