There's a pot of untaxed, corporate profit gold sitting offshore, and the European Union plans to press for what it considers its fair share.
The official leading that effort, EU's antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, was in Washington this week to deal with the blow back from her recent decision to slap Apple with a $14.5 billion tax bill.
The visit included a meeting Monday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew,who has been bluntly critical of a series of EU investigations into taxes paid by American companies on profits held outside the U.S.
But the visits have apparently left Vestager undaunted.
"The pushback is what we thought it would be," she told CNBC on Wednesday. "These are profits generated in Europe, and also I think (should) be taxed in Europe."
Those profits swelled to some $2.4 trillion — or about 14 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, according to new estimates released Monday.
Both Apple and the Irish government are appealing a ruling last month that the tech giant owes the Irish Treasury $14.5 billion, based on a government tax break that the EU ruling said qualified as "state aid." Such assistance amounts to an illegal subsidy under EU law, the ruling said.