Top US executives tell Yellen they welcome ‘certainty’ of 15% tax rate

US treasury secretary says US-Irish trade investment ‘is a two-way bridge that continues to benefit both countries tremendously’

Executives from two of the biggest US multinationals operating in the Republic told US treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Monday that they welcomed the stability and certainty offered by the recent ODCE framework agreement that will set a minimum corporate tax rate at 15 per cent.

Eamonn Sinnott, vice-president and general manager, Intel Ireland, said the deal provided his company with the certainty needed to back up major investments in its long-term capacity and infrastructure at locations in the US and Ireland.

Speaking at an event in a Dublin hotel hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, Mr Sinnott also told the treasury secretary that he thinks the current industry-wide shortage of semiconductor chips will last for the “next couple of years”.

Carin Bryans, senior country officer at the Irish unit of US financial services giant JPMorgan, said the tax deal provided “clarity, reliability and transparency regarding the tax agenda that is so important to a business”.


JP Morgan employes about 800 staff here, and Mr Bryans said Ireland’s corporation tax rate had not been “top factor” in its decision-making around investing here. “What is important is that we can rely on Ireland to engage proactively on the topic and that our reputation remains high internationally that there are no surprises,” she said.

Capital expenditures

The chamber event involved a dozen business leaders in the Republic discussing a range of business and economic issues with Ms Yellen.

Earlier, in her opening comments to the gathering, Ms Yellen noted that US companies employ more than 180,000 people in Ireland and another 140,000 indirectly, while investing about $6 billion in capital expenditures in Ireland every year.

“US-Irish trade investment is a two-way bridge that continues to benefit both countries tremendously,” she said, adding that the “strong partnership” between the countries played a part in both being able to understand “each other’s positions in the recent negotiations on international tax”.

Ms Yellen said the recent OECD tax deal would ensure “large multinational corporations will pay their fair share in Ireland just as they will in the rest of the world”.

“It will help the global economy thrive by levelling the playing field for businesses and encouraging positive competition in most countries, competition that’s judged by the talent and education of the nation’s workforce and the quality of its fiscal and ecological infrastructure,” Ms Yellen added.

“With its robust business environment, Ireland is already winning this new race to the top.”

Stable environment

Ms Yellen said the corporate tax deal would not change Ireland’s status as “one of the best places to do business in the world”, adding that it would bring “certainty” to companies, including those who have been “challenged in recent years by a chaotic array of unilateral digital tax measures”.

“Companies will again be able to plan and make investment decisions in a more stable environment,” she said.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times