Belfast Telegraph

Irish experts play down impact of Trump's tax pledges

By Colm Kelpie

Business experts in the Republic have played down US President Donald Trump's push to lower the country's corporate tax rate to 15% and any potential impact on Ireland.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump repeated his plan to dramatically cut the business tax, naming Ireland as a destination with a lower rate than America's.

Tax reform and bringing US jobs back home was a consistent theme of his election campaign, sparking speculation here that Ireland's multi-national sector could be affected.

So far though, there's been scant progress by the Trump administration on that pledge. "It's difficult to see exactly what will get past (in Congress). There will likely to be some rate reduction, but I don't think it will be down in the 15% that he is saying," said Louise Kelly, tax partner at Deloitte.

"I think it's a call to politicians to get down to work and come up with a plan, but I don't think there's any agreement behind the scenes yet, or that it's moved on."

The Republic's inward investment agency the IDA declined to comment. But the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland reiterated its stance that international businesses come to Ireland for more than tax benefits, citing the educated workforce and ease of access to mainland Europe. The Republic has a corporation tax rate of 12.5%.

In July, the Chamber celebrated Independence Day with 600 members of the Ireland US business community at a function in Dublin. President James O'Connor said its aim was for the US to have a "long and lasting positive impact on Ireland's economy and society".

Belfast Telegraph

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