May 1, 2001
The Honorable Mark A. Weinberger
Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy)
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 1334
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear Mr. Weinberger,
Financial Executives International's (FEI) Committee on Taxation is writing to urge that in the upcoming OECD Ministerial Discussions concerning so-called Harmful Tax
Practices, the United States delegation not support any efforts to 'harmonize" national tax policies or seek to regulate so-called "ring fencing."
Financial Executives International (FEI) is a professional organization representing the interests of about 15,000 CFO's, Treasurers, Controllers and other senior
executives in over 8,000 corporations throughout the United States and Canada. FEI's Committee on Taxation, which formulates tax policy, comprises the senior tax officers from some of the nation's largest corporations, and involves itself with taxation issues that affect U.S. corporations.
We recommend that the United States pursue policies which promote the transparency of each nation's substantive and procedural tax laws as well as
policies favoring controlled data exchange between national authorities, to promote mutual assistance in ensuring that national laws are not being subverted. In this regard, the United States should pursue the same international norms in the taxation area as it does in the international trade and investment arena. We do not, however, favor proposals which would seek to 'harmonize' the tax laws of member governments or to set minimum levels of taxation. Each nation must decide for itself how best to tax its citizens and businesses. While we favor transparency and exchanges of information, harmonization is not something which we can or should support because it intrudes on a nation's sovereignty. Nor do we recommend that the United States support international efforts to regulate so-called 'ring fencing,' or related practices, in which one jurisdiction competes with another for international business or investment based on the favorable tax treatment which its laws accord to imported capital. So long as the tax inducements are open and transparent, it is good international economic policy for there to be incentives for nations to keep their tax and regulatory systems as low cost and laissez-faire respectively because those types of policies stimulate international trade and investment.
very much for your consideration of our views. We greatly appreciate your continued good work and leadership in the areas of economic and tax policy. Please do not hesitate to call on us if we can be of assistance. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Mark Rosen, Director of Government Relations (202) 457-6204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph O. Luby, Jr.
Financial Executives International
cc: Mark Rosen