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Center For Freedom And Prosperity Will Defend Jurisdictions Against OECD In Barbados

Mike Godfrey, Tax-news.com, Washington

28 December 2000


The US Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP) announced last week that it would be attending the OECD's multilateral discussions with Caribbean countries which had been 'blacklisted' for 'harmful tax practices', to be held in Barbados on January 8th and 9th.

The OECD had previously announced that the meetings would be attended by delegations from the UN, the IMF and the World Bank, giving rise to speculation that an attempt was going to be made to 'buy off' the jurisdictions with aid and soft loan programmes in return for commitments to information exchange and increases in taxation which would lessen their attractions to tax exiles from high-taxing OECD member states. The CFP is strongly against such 'fiscal colonialism' and has been encouraging the jurisdictions to co-operate with each other in order to have more power to resist the blandishments and threats of the multilaterals.

Here is the text of the press release issued by the CFP.

22nd December 2000 WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP) announced today that it will hold a series of discussions with countries targeted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) during the Commonwealth Secretariat/OECD's upcoming multi-lateral consultations.

CFP President Andrew Quinlan and Board Chairman Daniel Mitchell will be in Barbados during the conference, January 8 – 9. On January 6, they propose to meet with representatives from affected countries, as well as OECD and other countries, to discuss the status of the "harmful tax competition" debate, including developments from the upcoming Bush Administration and leaders on Capitol Hill. They also plan to discuss with low-tax regimes how to defend their fiscal sovereignty.

The discussions are being held in response to inquiries received by CFP's Coalition for Tax Competition from several targeted countries and territories. Both Mitchell and Quinlan met with leaders of affected Caribbean countries at the annual Caribbean/Latin American Action Conference earlier this month in Miami.

The strategy recommended by CFP is two-fold, Quinlan said. The CFP advises affected governments not to sign any agreements with the OECD -- a Paris-based international organization with 30 member nations from the industrialized world -- pending a sign from the Bush Administration's Treasury Department on how it might handle the OECD's actions against low-tax nations.

"If the United States does not support economic sanctions against 'blacklisted' countries, it would be economically foolish for other industrialized countries to follow through with their threats," Quinlan said.

Even if the Bush Administration does not take a strong public stand against the OECD, Quinlan said several Members of Congress have stated their opposition to the OECD initiative.

In a September letter to outgoing Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Majority Leader Dick Armey said, "Adopting the OECD's policy not only represents a major change in tax policy, it hinders our efforts to reduce the U.S. tax burden and reform our unfair tax code. It also poses a serious risk to our continuing prosperity and prosperity around the globe. I urge you to summarily and immediately reject this policy."

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity is a nonprofit independent organization created to promote market liberalization. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity was founded by its President Andrew Quinlan, a former senior aide to Congress' Joint Economic Committee, and its Board Chairman Daniel Mitchell, senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

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