Contact Information:

Center for
Freedom and Prosperity
 P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia

CFP Update, 05-03-01

Center for Freedom and Prosperity's Weekly Update

1) OECD Suffers Major Defeat!

2) Armey meets with Bush Administration

3) Financial Times columnist Amity Shlaes opines against the OECD's project

4) Dan Mitchell responds to the grossly inaccurate analysis by Tax Notes' Lee Sheppard

5) CFP's Washington Update

6) US would be targeted if OECD initiative succeeds

7) Allies of the OECD mount a weak counter-attack

8) News Clips


1) OECD Suffers Major Defeat!

OECD Suffers Major Defeat! In sharp break with prior statements, G-7 communiqué does not include an endorsement of the Paris bureaucracy's so-called "harmful tax competition" initiative.

Late last week the Center worked closely with its allies on Capitol Hill and the Administration to insure that the statement issued at the conclusion of the G-7 finance ministers meeting did not include language endorsing the OECD so-called "harmful tax competition" project. The Center attended the Secretary O'Neill's press conference and we are happy to report that our mission was successful. The below is the link to a statement we released:

Tax-News.Com: US Position On OECD Offshore Crusade Is Becoming Clearer

Financial Times: Bid to curb offshore tax havens falters

April 26, 2001, Financial Times, CLASSIFIED RECRUITMENT: US caution on tax havens EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS


2) Armey meets with Bush Administration

Majority Leader Dick Armey reports on his meeting with the White House and Treasury on the OECD "harmful tax competition" project.  Rep. Armey should be congratulated and thanked for his fight against the OECD plan.

April 26, 2001, House Majority Leader Dick Armey: Administration Should Fix Flawed OECD Policy


3) Financial Times columnist Amity Shlaes opines against the OECD's project.

Financial Times: Why tax havens provide shelter for everyone: Big countries that tax heavily want to gang up on small ones that do not. The Bush administration should not sanction this…


4) Dan Mitchell responds to the grossly inaccurate analysis by Tax Notes' Lee Sheppard.

Lee Sheppard's recent opinion piece on the Organization for Economic Cooperation's "harmful tax competition" initiative ("It's the Bank Secrecy, Stupid," April 16) was rather entertaining, but there are a few points that require a response.

First and foremost, Ms. Sheppard asserts and/or implies throughout her article that the OECD proposal has nothing to do with higher tax rates and heavier tax burdens. Instead, she asserts that the Paris-based bureaucracy is focused on the elimination of financial privacy. But while it certainly is true that the OECD wants to dictate bank secrecy laws in non-member countries, there should be little doubt that the destruction of privacy is simply a means to an end. The OECD wants to make it easier for high-tax governments to collect more revenue and there should be little doubt that more taxes would be the ultimate effect… Link to full letter below:


5) CFP's Washington Update

CFP has been busy this past week.  As you can tell from the Ignatius and Peel pieces below, we have been getting the attention of our opponents. This is good because it means that we are getting close to winning the issue in Washington. Now that the Easter break is over and Congress is back in session, we look forward to more Members of Congress coming out against the OECD. More on this next week.

Next week we will also have more information on our trip to Paris to monitor the OECD Ministerial meeting (May 16 and 17).

NOTE:  It has been brought to our attention by a well placed source close to the British overseas territories that an article published this week in an international newspaper had several major mischaracterizations.  The article said that the four Caribbean British overseas territories (OTs) were "expected soon" to cave in to the OECD's pressure and had planned to make a "joint commitment" to the OECD.  We have been told that this misrepresents the situation and that the OTs have not planned a joint commitment.  I know that many countries are under extreme pressure from the OECD, but it would be a major miscalculation if any of them signed the MOU with the OECD now that the Bush Administration is distancing itself from the attack on low-tax jurisdictions.


6) US would be targeted if OECD initiative succeeds

Washington based international tax attorney, Bruce Zagaris, pulls the camouflage off the OECD so-called "harmful tax competition" project.  Zagaris lists the OECD countries and their regimes that don't meet the OECD's standards.  The US would be significantly harmed, not only at the Federal level, but states like Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Montana and others would have to change their laws.


7) Allies of the OECD mount a weak counter-attack

Fearful of defeat, the OECD has prevailed upon some of its friends to attack our efforts. Fortunately, the best they can do is to accuse the Center of being in favor of lower taxes (Heaven forbid!) and regurgitating OECD smear tactics by accusing low-tax nations of money laundering.

David Ignatius' The Washington Post column, The Tax Cheats' Friends

Richard Rahn's Response to the David Ignatius' Washington Post column

Michael Peel of the Financial Times uses 469 words to attack CFP and its affiliated Foundation.  I guess we are getting under their skin. Link to article below:


8) News Clips:

United Press International: UPI's Washington Roundup

BNA: Group Questions Weinberger on Safety Of OECD Information Exchange Requirement

National Review: This Week (Editorial)

Agence France Presse: Pacific tax havens set to defy close-down orders from rich club


Kind regards,

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
603-971-9137 (efax)


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