The issue of so-called tax inversions—when a company buys a foreign firm to switch its tax domicile to a country with lower rates—has been a major policy point for President Barack Obama over the past few months.
The White House, through both the president and Lew, have contended that American companies conducting inversions are benefiting from the economic and market benefits of their home country, and then leaving without paying their fair share. With a steady stream of speeches on the topic, the administration has been laying the foundation for a new law to curb the practice.
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But even before that step takes place, Obama has attempted to dissuade companies from inverting, telling CNBC in July that moving tax domiciles out of the U.S. "is neither fair, nor is it something that's going to be good for the country over the long term."
"You are an American company. You continue to benefit in all kinds of ways from being an American company," the president said in July. "It is true that there are a lot of things that may be legal that probably aren't the right thing to do by the country."
These companies that have been called out for conducting inversions deny that they are attempting to avoid paying U.S. tax rates.
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