The European Commission's ruling that Apple must pay back taxes to Ireland is going to scare investors away from the European Union, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told CNBC on Tuesday.
"The big problem here is not what it's going to do to Apple. Apple is going to survive this. It's what it does to the investment climate in the EU at a time when they desperately need investment," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."
On Tuesday, the executive arm of the European Union ordered the Irish government to recoup up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes from Apple, plus interest. It concluded the country granted the tech giant undue tax benefits by allowing Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 percent in 2014.
Both Apple and Ireland have said they will contest the ruling.