Senator Claire McCaskill has just asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about the deal Apple forged with Ireland to pay only 2% taxes, and whether or not there will ever be a country that offers Apple such a great tax deal that they would pack up and move out of Cupertino to overseas.
Tim Cook explained that Ireland originally recruited Apple back in 1980 as part of an initiative to attract technology companies to the then extremely poor country. That rate is what has allowed Apple in the last four years to pay only $10 million tax on $74 billion of overseas revenues.
McCaskill then brought up the question of whether or not there wouldn’t always be foreign countries which would undercut America’s taxes, no matter how modest.
Cook said that America still has extraordinary advantages over other countries, and that a simplified tax code would help. Cook reiterated that he didn’t want to pay nothing on repatriating money brought back home from overseas. “I propose we eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, and we have a reasonable tax on bringing tax back overseas. I think many many companies would bring cash back in that scenario.”
McCaskill then asked whether or not Apple would ever leave America if the tax system became too onerous. Tim Cook seemed astouned by the suggestion.
“We’re an American company, and we’re proud to be an American company. Vast majorty of R&D is in California. We’re there because we love it there. It’s who we are as people. We’re an American company whether we’re selling in China, or Egypt, or Saudi Arabia. It has never even entered my mind to move our headquarters to another country, and I have a wild imagination.”