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Tax-News.Com

New York 11th January 2001

Centre For Freedom And Prosperity
Reports On Barbados Triumph

     Leaders of the Centre for Freedom and Prosperity, returning from the OECD's Barbados forum, are not surprisingly euphoric about the success achieved by the Caribbean and Pacific nations in obliging the OECD to include them in ongoing consultations over the organisation's 'harmful tax competition' initiative.

     While the CFP is no doubt right to hand much of the praise for what was achieved to Barbados PM Owen Arthur, who is undoubtedly man of the match, Messrs Quinlan and Mitchell have tirelessly lobbied and pushed over recent months to encourage the formation of a united front on the part of the oppressed jurisdictions.

     Perhaps it is not surprising, in fact, that it took almost a year for the jurisdictions to form a common front, given the shock and fear they must have felt last summer. But one is irresistibly reminded of an 18th century remark: 'If we do not hang together, Gentlemen, we will assuredly hang separately'. Not a tax remark but very apposite.

The CFP issued a hurried communique on its way back from Barbados:

Bridgetown, Barbados (January 9, 2001) -- The OECD's attack on low-tax nations suffered a major setback as the organization was forced today to agree to a task force of OECD and non-OECD nations. While not officially withdrawn, the OECD's concession effectively means that its heavy-handed "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) has been suspended. 

     Andrew Quinlan, President of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity stated, "The OECD's concession is a remarkable development and a victory for those who believe in fiscal sovereignty and financial privacy."

     Dan Mitchell, the Center's Chairman and a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, stated that "The OECD had hoped this conference would lead to more nations signing the MOU. The task force not only represents a step in the other direction, but it finally gives the persecuted low-tax nations a seat at the negotiating table."

     The Center for Freedom and Prosperity played a significant role in the Conference's outcome. The high-level delegation it brought down from Washington had intensive consultations with lawmakers from low-tax regimes and testified before the CARICOM caucus Sunday morning. But Quinlan was reluctant to take any credit for the OECD's retreat, "We are proud of the Center's role, but the real hero is Prime Minister Owen Arthur of Barbados. His leadership and courage made the difference."

     Mitchell added, "We also want to acknowledge the regional leadership of CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington and the many delegations that attended the conference."

     Quinlan said that today's victory should not lead to a false sense of euphoria. "This is just one battle in a long war. The OECD suffered a setback, but we are sure they will continue their anti-tax competition campaign."

     Mitchell concurred, stating, "This is why we are redoubling our efforts. We are now heading to New York City for a series of meetings with business leaders and financial journalists."

     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 Andrew Quinlan, a former senior aide to Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University, and Daniel Mitchell, a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

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