ลงประกาศเมื่อ 23 Jun 2021 อัพเดทล่าสุด 23 Jun 2021 18:30:58 น. เข้าชม 33 ครั้ง
The Cornwall summit A huge security operation was under way this week in preparation for the G7 summit at the Carbis Bay resort in Cornwall. The three-day meeting, which is due to end on Sunday, is the first face-to-face gathering of world leaders since the start of the pandemic. The G7 club of what used to be the world’s seven largest economies includes the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan and Italy; Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa will attend as guests.
The gathering was billed as a chance for Boris Johnson to showcase post-Brexit “Global Britain”, and to inject new purpose into the G7. Climate change will feature prominently on the agenda, and the PM called for G7 leaders to ensure the whole world is vaccinated against Covid by the end of 2022. Ahead of the summit, G7 finance ministers struck what was hailed as a historic deal to tackle tax avoidance by multinationals and tech companies. They each committed to a global minimum corporation tax of 15% – reducing the advantages of shifting profits abroad – and to a new regime that would require large companies to pay more tax in countries where they sell their goods and services.
This G7 summit “heralds the return of multilateralism”, said The Daily Telegraph. After the bust-ups of the Trump presidency, Joe Biden is “restoring the Obama-era consensus”. And he’s doing so at a time when the interests of the G7 nations appear to have come into closer alignment on a range of issues, including Covid, the environment and taxes. Chancellor Rishi Sunak described the deal on tax reforms as “historic” and “seismic”, said The Times. “For once, this may not have been hyperbole.” Such international agreements to collectively tackle “festering” problems do not come along every day.
The mooted changes to the tax rules governing multinationals are very “welcome”, said The Observer. As for the summit’s other aims – leading the postpandemic global recovery, promoting free trade, tackling climate change, championing democratic values – these all sound good, but are just words for now. “Delivery is all.” Leaders should be judged by their deeds, rather than their lofty rhetoric, which are often at odds, agreed The Independent. Just look at Johnson, who now talks of the UK “leading the world”, despite the fact that Britain has become the only G7 nation to cut its overseas aid budget.
The exact purpose of the G7 has never been entirely clear, said Mark Wallace in The i Paper. The club emerged organically in the 1970s as an informal forum. The lack of a set agenda can be helpful, but at times it has led the forum astray, such as when it rashly admitted Russia in the late 1990s, becoming the G8, amid “wildly excessive optimism about the ‘end of history’” (Russia was kicked out in 2014, after annexing Crimea). Today, the G7 nations are defined not by their wealth or military muscle, but by their support for democratic values.
Back in the 1970s, G7 nations accounted for some 80% of global GDP, said Gideon Rachman in the FT; now, with the rise of China and others, it’s about 40%. But the global pandemic has provided the G7 with a chance to prove its continuing relevance, and the group has risen to the challenge with its deal on corporate tax. The agreement suggests such institutions “can still deliver meaningful change”, agreed Emily Tamkin in the New Statesman. A lot remains to be hammered out, but G7 leaders have taken the first symbolic step towards stopping what US treasury secretary Janet Yellen has called the global “race to the bottom” on taxation.
The agreement to tackle tech giants who currently get away with paying almost no tax is a “breakthrough”, said Kate Andrews in The Spectator. Under the plan, big multinationals that achieve more than a 10% profit margin will have a proportion of their profits reassigned, and taxed in the countries where their goods or services are sold. Less welcome, however, is the plan for a minimum corporation tax rate of 15%. Although that’s lower than the current level in most rich countries (the US and UK are about to hike theirs to 28% and 25%, respectively), it undermines the principle of competition and national autonomy. And 15% is only a starting figure, said Kai Weiss on CapX. France’s finance minister has declared that “in the coming months, we will fight to ensure this minimum corporate tax rate is as high as possible”. How odd that the UK is championing this when it was “precisely these kinds of top-down, one-sizefits-all plans implemented by an international bureaucracy that led Britain to leave the EU”.
After the G7 summit, talks will progress to the larger G20 meeting in Italy next month, when other big nations – including China, India, Brazil and Russia – will join negotiations, reports The Guardian. Any agreement on tax reform would then need to be haggled over by the 135 nations at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which could lead to a potential global deal by October. As things stand, Amazon would not be affected by the tax plan aimed at tech giants, as its profits fall below the 10% threshold. But it’s thought Amazon’s lucrative cloud computing unit could be treated as a separate entity to stop the group from dodging the reform.