ROME – President Joe Biden and other world leaders voiced support for a global minimum corporate tax at the closed-door G-20 summit on Saturday, a massive agreement US officials hope will raise revenue to better fund Biden’s rebuilding agenda. .
After Saturday’s first plenary session, a senior Biden administration official said leaders “have all come out in support of a global minimum tax.”
While financial representatives from most G20 countries have already agreed to apply a minimum corporate tax of 15 percent — ending the race to the bottom on corporate tax that could prevent companies from leaving the United States for low-tax countries — heads of state agree An important step forward towards executing the deal.
The final ratification of the new tax is expected to be included in the joint statement, the statement that G20 leaders issue at the end of the summit outlining their priorities and the actions they agreed to take. Each country will then have to go through its own procedures to ratify the tax.
An administration official said the minimum global corporate tax would result in at least $60 billion in additional revenue each year in the United States alone.
The Covid virus, climate change and rising energy prices are also expected to be high on the agenda during the opening session of the G20.
“The president affirmed his commitment to ending the global pandemic and securing a comprehensive global economic recovery, including by supporting developing countries through debt relief,” the official said in a statement. The G20 leaders stated that new epidemics can emerge at any time, so it is important that we strengthen global health systems and do more to create the global health security infrastructure to make sure we are prepared for the next pandemic.
In his opening remarks Saturday in La Nuvola, where the summit is being held, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi emphasized the need for cooperation to tackle some of the world’s most complex challenges.
“From the pandemic to climate change to fair and equitable taxation, going it alone is simply not an option,” Draghi said. “We must do everything we can to overcome our differences. We must revive the spirit that led to the creation of this group.”
Biden and other G20 leaders posed for a group photo before sitting down for the meeting. First responders joined in, many of whom took selfies with Biden at the end.
Biden was seen interacting briefly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Draghi warned the group in his opening remarks that the pandemic is not yet over and that more must be done to combat global vaccine inequality.
“In high-income countries, more than 70 percent of the population has received at least one dose. In the poorest countries, this percentage drops to nearly 3 percent,” he said. “These differences are morally unacceptable and undermine global recovery.”
The G-20, an annual gathering of international leaders representing the world’s largest economies, meets each year to discuss some of the world’s most challenging economic problems.
In addition to the United States, the G20, established in 1999 in the wake of a series of global economic crises, includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and members of the European Union.
The member states collectively make up nearly 80 percent of global GDP and 60 percent of the world’s population, although some of the most populous countries – such as Pakistan and Nigeria – are not part of the G-20.
In the afternoon, Biden met on the sidelines of the G-20 with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“We call on President Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to making good faith efforts to conclude our negotiations expeditiously,” the leaders said in a joint statement. This is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation that is not in the interest of any country.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said last week that Tehran was ready to start negotiations before the end of November.
In the 2015 deal, widely seen as the Obama administration’s greatest foreign policy achievement, Iran agreed to stop seeking to develop nuclear weapons and allow international inspections of its facilities in return for an agreement by the United States to roll back sanctions.
Since then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed crippling economic sanctions, Iran has begun enriching uranium to 60 percent purity, close to weapons grade, and has denied inspectors access to some nuclear sites. Iran has also been unable to access tens of billions of dollars of its assets due to US sanctions that have put pressure on its economy.
President and First Lady Jill Biden is also expected to attend a dinner Saturday evening with other heads of state at the Quirinale Palace, one of the Italian president’s three official residences.