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Call on EU to reconsider probes
11 Feb 2016 19:07
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has called on the European Union to reconsider tax probes targeting US companies, arguing that such moves represented disturbing precedents.
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Mr Lew made the plea in a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.
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"While we recognize that state aid is a longstanding concept, pursuing civil investigations - predominantly against US companies - under this new interpretation creates disturbing international tax policy precedents," Mr Lew wrote.
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"We respectfully urge you to reconsider this approach."
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The European Commission has been pursuing so-called sweetheart tax deals involving US firms such as Apple and McDonald's in several EU countries, which Ms Vestager says give them an unfair advantage in breach of state aid laws.
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Amazon is also in the EU's crosshairs, while Starbucks faces back taxes of up to €30m.
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Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last month personally lobbied Ms Vestager on the tax case involving Apple and Irish authorities.
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