U.S. President Barack Obama says he is pleased with the Treasury Department's plan to curb tax-avoiding corporate ''inversions'' which he says ''sticks the rest of us with the tab.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama says he is "pleased" with the Treasury Department taking new steps to curb tax-avoiding corporate "inversions." During a news conference Tuesday (April 5) Obama said, "When companies exploit loopholes like this, it makes it harder to invest in the things that are going to keep America's economy going strong for future generations. It sticks the rest of us with the tab and it makes hard-working Americans feel like the deck is stack against them." The changes, less than a year before President Barack Obama ends his term, follow sharp political criticism of Pfizer's and Allergan's merger, which would be the largest inversion deal ever. While the rules did not single out this deal, one of the provisions takes aim directly at it. Shares of Dublin-based Allergan fell 22 percent in after-market trading, while shares of New York-based Pfizer rose 3 percent. The companies said they were reviewing the Treasury Department's notice. "Prior to completing any review, we won't speculate on any potential impact," the companies said in a joint statement. The federal government has grappled with a wave of inversions in recent years as U.S. companies have sought to slash their tax bills by redomiciling overseas, though their core operations and management usually remain in the United States even as they claim a new tax home. Several U.S. presidential candidates, including Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, have seized on the issue in their campaigns. Obama, a Democrat, has called repeatedly for action by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress on inversions, but lawmakers have done little. He repeated his appeal to Congress on Monday and said he welcomed the Treasury's action.