Chamber’s ads defend corporate inversions Tax coalition argues the campaign hurts the interests of millions of Chamber members
WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) today released an open letter to Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, requesting that he end a deceptive multi-million dollar advertising campaign on corporate inversions and corporate tax rates.
The letter sharply criticizes the Chamber’s television and print advertising for promoting the agendas of a small number of large corporations while betraying the interests of millions of other Chamber members. The ads defend corporate inversions, the process by which a company renounces its U.S. “citizenship” to dodge paying its fair share of taxes. About a dozen companies – all of them multinational corporations – are in the process of inverting. If these companies successfully dodge billions in federal taxes, small businesses and American taxpayers will pick up the tab.
Americans for Tax Fairness details some of the ways in which the ad campaign is designed to mislead. For example, photos and footage of middle-class families and small businesses are used to suggest that they would be hurt by restrictions on corporate inversions. ATF challenges the Chamber to be more honest by instead illustrating its advertisements with logos of Burger King, Pfizer, Medtronic, Chiquita and other companies that are planning to undergo an inversion.
The ATF letter also challenges a central premise of the Chamber’s ad campaign – the notion that corporate tax rates in the United States put American companies at a disadvantage to foreign competitors:
“The Chamber deliberately focuses attention only on the top statutory rate – what profitable corporations are supposed to pay – but it omits mention of effective tax rates – what corporations actually pay after accounting for tax loopholes.”
The letter also calls the Chamber hypocritical for attacking the idea of making legislation retroactive in order to reduce incentives for corporations to race to invert before Congress and the President can act. It points out that the Chamber has spent millions of dollars lobbying for the “retroactive passage of ‘tax extenders,’ big corporate tax breaks that routinely have been extended and backdated over the past decade.”
In the letter’s conclusion, ATF calls on the Chamber to “end its deceptive campaign and instead engage in an honest conversation about tax reform – one that serves the interests of all your members.”
Three Chamber of Commerce print ads
Chamber of Commerce TV ad – “Backwards”
Chamber of Commerce TV ad – “Why Does That Matter?”
Americans for Tax Fairness is a diverse coalition of 425 national and state organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of members. The organization was formed on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. ATF is playing a central role in Washington and in the states on federal tax-reform issues.