Dear journalists and colleagues,
Coming Monday to Wednesday I will be participating in an official mission of the European Parliament in order to discuss the fight against money laundering, tax crimes and aggressive tax avoidance in Washington DC. The members of the Parliament’s committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance will meet high level interlocutors including members of Congress, members of the US departments of Justice and Treasury, the World Bank, Apple, the anti-financial crime body FinCen, the IMF ICIJ journalists and the FACT coalition.
In the programme of our mission below you find all major meetings as well as the expected areas of discussion. I would be delighted to receive hints for any concrete issues and facts to raise in these meetings.
The United States were spearheading the fight against global financial crime. It was America that led the successful clampdown against the misuse of banking secrecy for tax evasion. It was America that led to the recent closure of European banks involved in money laundering scandals such as the Latvian ABLV and the Maltese Pilatus Bank. It is somewhat embarrassing that the United States have to serve as a de facto anti-money laundering authority in the EU. At the same time it is critical that our American partners keep up the spirit by applying the same standards to their own financial institutions. It is disappointing that it is still possible to open de facto anonymous bank accounts in many US states (see our study below) damaging the global fight against financial and tax crimes. It is equally important that multinational corporations are paying their fair share of tax regardless where they do business or where they come from. Therefore, global tax cooperation remains crucial rather than a spiral of tax competition and new tax subsidies.
Best regards from Germany,
Programme of the delegation to Washington:
Our study on “The role of the U.S. as a tax haven”: