Ireland could suffer if Trump’s tax plans succeed, says ex-adviser

Stephen Moore says Ireland’s advantage ‘diminished’ if corporate tax lowered

US president Donald Trump announces he still wants to see the American corporate tax rate drop to 15%, saying cutting it is essential for the nation to regain its competitive edge. Video: The White House

 

Ireland could have something to worry about if Donald Trump succeeds in bringing down corporate tax rates, a former economic adviser to the US president has said.

Mr Trump on Wednesday vowed to stick to his plan of bringing down the corporate tax rate to 15 per cent from about 35 per cent, mentioning Ireland and other countries in a speech.

Stephen Moore has blamed the loss of US business to many countries, including Ireland, on the US having “the highest business tax rate in the world”.

“It just doesn’t work any more in this globally competitive world,” he said to Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

Some of the companies that have left the US for Ireland might make the decision to come back, he said.

‘America first’

“As an American, that is something I would certainly support, even though I love Ireland. . . Let’s not forget, one of Donald Trump’s major campaign themes is ‘America first’.”

However, he said, even if the tax cut plan passed through Congress, “Ireland will still have one of the lowest tax rates in the world.”

“Your advantage over us will be diminished, but it would still be an advantage,” he added.

Donald Trump pleaded with Congress to pass the plan in his speech in Missouri.

He also spoke of passing “substantial” tax cuts for families, said Mr Moore. “Middle class would really like to see more dollars in their pockets,” he said.

He believes the tax cut plan is a “50-50 proposition” due to the potential lack of collaboration from the Democrats’ side.

“Whether or not he can get any Democrats, I’m very sceptical. . . For passage, Donald trump will have to get virtually every Republican to vote for him,” he said.

He said it is important for Republicans to pass the plan because it is not only “good economics, but good politics” as well.

“If they don’t pass this tax cut and come up short in reforming the health care system and come up short in reforming the tax system, it will be a big black eye for the Republicans, and that may cause them to lose the Congress in 2018,” he said.