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Republicans Overseas: Trump’s Davos visit is about ‘America First’

A wall of a Google office painted like a window, looking at a Swiss landscape
A Google office in Zurich and it's Swiss decor © KEYSTONE / WALTER BIERI

The presence of United States President Donald Trump at next week’s WEF meeting in Davos is a chance for Switzerland to discuss American corporate tax reform.

James Foley, a Geneva-based member of Republicans Overseas, told Swiss public radio, RTS, that the meeting between Trump and this year’s Swiss president, Alain Berset, would be useful from a business point of view.

Good for whose business?

“It’s quite simply good for business. It’s one of the reasons Trump is going there, to promote the ‘America First’ programme,” Foley said.

Swiss authorities have expressed concern that one of the US president’s aims is to convince US companies based in Switzerland to move their operations back home.

As part of sweeping reforms approved by the US Senate in December, taxes for corporations based on American soil will drop from the current rate of 35% to 21%.

Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said earlier this week that “innovative ideas” were needed to prevent American firms based in Switzerland from packing up and returning to the US, attracted by the lower rates.

+ Read more about tax reform in Switzerland 

Currently, around 24,000 international firms enjoy tax privileges in Switzerland. But there’s pressure from abroad to end the breaks, and Swiss voters rejected corporate tax reforms a year ago at the ballot box.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR