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UK: PM Urges Transparency over Tax and Trade
Source: Public Service, http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=22920
Source Date: Monday, May 13, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irela
Created: May 13, 2013

While the Conservative party tries to destroy itself again at home over Europe, its leader the Prime Minister David Cameron is in the United States of America holding trade talks with President Barack Obama. And he is calling for fairer taxes and greater transparency.

Calling the relationship between the USA and UK "a partnership without parallel", Cameron wrote in the Wall Street Journal that both countries had "a precious opportunity to transform the global economy – not by less openness and less free trade but by more.

The PM reckoned that the free trade area between Europe and the USA, which will be negotiated over when Obama attends the G-8 summit in June, could add £10bn to the British economy and £63bn to the USA. But the world could also benefit, Cameron said, claiming that if G-8 countries completed all their current trade deals and those in the pipeline this could boost the income of the whole world by more than $1 trillion. Sweeping away trade bureaucracy could be worth $70bn to the global economy.

The PM wrote: "Too often in trade, the voices defending special interests shout loudest. But it makes no sense to exclude vital parts of the economy. Everything must be on the table. And we must tackle the really tough regulatory issues so a product approved on one side of the Atlantic can immediately enter the market on the other. We will only reap the benefits if we keep the ambition high. Now is the time for business and political leaders to be making the case for this once-in-a-generation prize.

"But as we free up the world economy, we must make sure openness delivers the benefits it should for rich economies and developing countries alike. That means consistent and fair rules for the global economy. When countries open up to cross-border trade, and global supply chains, they need to know that they will see the benefits in jobs, fair tax revenues and economic growth. So we need global rules that prevent tax evasion and aggressive avoidance, and enable governments to collect the taxes they are owed."

On tougher tax transparency rules, Cameron said he would "fight the scourge of tax evasion" by promoting a new global standard for automatic information exchange between tax authorities. And aggressive tax avoidance would be dealt with by encouraging better global reporting to tax authorities and letting tax collectors and law enforcement find out who really owns and controls each company.

The PM also promised to "lift the veil of secrecy" that too often lets corrupt corporations and officials in some countries "run rings around the law". He said the G-8 must move toward a global common standard for resource-extracting companies – oil, gas and mining companies – to report all payments to governments, and in turn for governments to report those revenues. This would encourage more investment in resource-rich countries and level the playing field for business.

"By promoting more trade, fairer taxes and greater transparency, Britain and America can once again lead the way in meeting the greatest challenge of our time," Cameron said, "securing the growth and stability on which the prosperity of the whole world depends." 
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