U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday denounced “corporate deserters” after Johnson Controls and Tyco International announced a plan to merge the manufacturing giants in the latest example of a U.S.-based company acquiring a foreign firm to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
“The potential Johnson-Tyco merger would be a disaster for American taxpayers,” Sanders said. “Profitable companies that have received corporate welfare from American taxpayers should not be allowed to renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes. These corporate inversions must stop.
“My message to these corporate deserters is simple: You can’t be an American company only when you want corporate welfare from American taxpayers or you want lucrative contracts from the federal government,” Sanders continued. “If you want the advantages of being an American company then you can’t run away from America to avoid paying taxes.”
Sanders last year introduced the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act. It would end the inversion tax scam by treating corporations as American corporations for tax purposes when it is still majority owned by U.S. interests.
In November, Sanders called on the Obama administration and Congress to stop a similar deal involving Pfizer and Allergan that would lead to higher prescription drug prices. “The Pfizer-Allergan merger would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” Sanders said at the time. “It also would allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas.”
Sanders’ Senate bill also would also stop corporations from avoiding $100 billion in taxes a year by stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens.