Apple’s $14.5 billion tax penalty threatens ‘spirit of economic partnership’ between U.S., EU
Hailed as a breath of fresh air across the Atlantic when he took office eight years ago, President Obama will leave office soon with the state of U.S.-European economic ties in deep crisis.
The White House and top lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday were sharply critical of a record-setting $14.5 billion-plus tax penalty levied by European Union regulators against American computer giant Apple, on the same day that leading officials in Germany and France were declaring that Mr. Obama’s ambitious free trade deal with the EUhad essentially collapsed.
The Apple ruling had the Treasury Department warning that European regulators were in danger of “undermining the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU.”
The U.S. and the EU had long seen themselves as “friendly competitors” in the drive to spur global economic growth, but “now we’re seeing each other as increasing obstacles to this,” said Heather Conley, a former top official on European affairs at the State Department under Mr. Obama and now director of the Europe Program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And we’ve got to get out of this dynamic quickly.” – READ MORE