By Hunter Wallace
In the interest of fairness, I will link to today’s article by free-market theorist James Pethokoukis on the Pfizer deal:
“Another big American company is fleeing overseas to find a safe space from U.S. taxes. And once again, grandstanding politicians are stomping all over the businessmen behind the deal.
Drug giant Pfizer, based in New York, is merging with Irish pharmaceutical firm Allergan in a $160 billion deal. If approved by regulators, this would be the largest “corporate inversion” to date, a clever bit of financial engineering where a company merges with a foreign rival based in a country with lighter taxes. The Pfizer-Allergan combo would be based in Dublin, reportedly cutting Pfizer’s tax rate from 25 percent to roughly 17 or 18 percent. The new firm would still be called Pfizer, and would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under Pfizer’s ticker symbol, PFE. But Pfizer’s tax bill would be a heck of a lot lower.
The leading presidential candidates of each party are not happy about this. They dispute that what’s good for Pfizer is good for America. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton attacked Pfizer for avoiding its “fair share” of taxes in a deal that “will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag.” Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called the very idea of inversion “disgusting,” and said Washington “should be ashamed” for allowing it. …”
“WASHINGTON — Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has long been the most politically active drug maker in Washington, and its representatives have tended to wrap themselves in the American flag while pressing their concerns with lawmakers and regulators.
So when the company announced this week that it would abandon not only the flag but the United States, its planned move to Ireland stunned the medicine industry’s lobbying corps — not the least because Pfizer’s chief lobbyist, Sally Susman, is the daughter of one of President Obama’s biggest, most generous benefactors, Louis Susman. …”
Big Pharma has the most powerful lobby in Washington:
“The White House has begun building a political case for reining in drug costs, and the administration recently agreed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord to intellectual property protections for advanced pharmaceuticals that was about half of what the industry demanded and United States law provides. Worse, a 2011 patent law has resulted in a wave of lawsuits funded by hedge funds against the industry’s most valuable property — drug patents. …”
Question: of all the things in the world we can import, why don’t we engage in free-trade for cheap, generic foreign prescription drugs? Wouldn’t that benefit the American consumer?