Treasury secretary: EU targeting US companies with Apple ruling

Cameron Lancaster

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday that the European Union (EU) is targeting U.S. companies after the European Commission ruled against Apple in a case over the tech giant’s tax dealings with Ireland.

“I have been concerned that it reflected an attempt to reach into the U.S. tax base to tax income that ought to be taxed in the United States,” Lew said in response to the decision, Reuters is reporting.

The commission on Tuesday ordered that Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes after it decided that the country had granted the tech company unfair state aid that violated EU regulations.

Apple and Ireland have said they will appeal the ruling.

The EU has also ordered Starbucks to pay more taxes to the Netherlands. Amazon and McDonald’s both have cases pending with the Commission over potentially underpaying taxes as well.

report released earlier in August had previously questioned the European Union’s motivations in the tax cases, citing Lew’s comments that the “investigations appear ‘to be targeting U.S. companies disproportionately.’” 

Prior to the decision, both Lew and U.S. legislators said that these cases call into question  “bilateral tax treaties negotiated with EU Member States,” and that the cases “could undermine U.S. tax treaties with EU Member States.”

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