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Trump’s Tax Plan Would Be Handout to Pharmaceutical Industry

Nov. 3, 2017

Trump’s Tax Plan Would Be Handout to Pharmaceutical Industry

Five Medical Corporations Stand to Reap $46.8 Billion Tax Break as a Reward for Hoarding Profits Abroad

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The tax proposal proposed by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans on Thursday would give five top pharmaceutical corporations a $46.8 billion tax break, a new report from Public Citizen and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) reveals.

The Big Pharma corporations collectively hold more than $290 billion offshore.

The congressional Republican plan would create a tax holiday, letting companies repatriate profits they would have held in other countries, paying a tax rate of 12 percent or lower, instead of the normal 35 percent rate.

Among the five corporations, Pfizer is hoarding the most. A tax holiday like the one proposed in Trump’s plan would reap Pfizer an estimated $26.7 billion.

The other corporations – Gilead Sciences, Amgen, Baxter International and Biogen Idec. – would escape anywhere from $1.3 billion to $8.6 billion in taxes owed.

“President Trump says Big Pharma is ‘getting away with murder’ by price gouging consumers,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “But his plan would make him an accomplice in a second metaphorical murder, this time of taxpayers.”

“Any special tax rate on repatriation would give the biggest benefit to precisely the companies that have been the most brazen in their offshore tax avoidance,” said Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at ITEP. “Because so much of their profits come from patents, pharmaceutical companies would likely enjoy a huge, and unwarranted, windfall due to their ability to more easily shift profits from their patents offshore.”

Read the report (PDF).