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US Treasury secretary's global tax plan meets resistance abroad and at home

Belgium Brussels Economic Forum
Posted at 3:38 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 16:25:28-04

Last July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen celebrated it as a "historic day" when more than 100 nations agreed to a global minimum tax deal meant to reform and equalize the world's economy.

This week, as she met with Group of Seven finance ministers in Germany, she found herself insisting that prospects for moving ahead with the idea are at least "not hopeless." The plan is running up against new resistance abroad and old divisions at home as fresh global concerns take center stage.

The ongoing war in Ukraine, the threat of rising food insecurity, crushing inflation and other urgent matters have stolen finance ministers' attention away from putting the plan in place before a 2023 deadline.

A spokesperson for Poland’s finance ministry cited concerns about the “lowering of the EU’s competitiveness and placing of additional burden on European businesses” without ensuring that digital giants are adequately taxed. They added that the concerns were heightened ”especially when faced with difficulties of the current post-pandemic times.”

“We’re working to try to address their concerns,” Yellen told reporters Thursday. “We would love to see Poland come on board. I think it is not hopeless.”