Leaders of the world’s largest economies on Saturday approved a global minimum corporate tax as part of a deal on new international tax rules, a step towards greater fairness amid skyrocketing incomes of some multinational companies.
The movement of thehas been hailed by US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen as benefiting American businesses and workers.
The G-20 finance ministers had already agreed in July on a minimum tax of 15%. Its official approval at Saturday’s Rome summit of world economic powers was widely expected.
Yellen predicted in a statement that the agreement on new international tax rules, with a global minimum tax, “will end the race to the damaging race to the bottom in corporate taxation.”
The deal did not respond to US President Joe Biden’s initial call for a 21% minimum tax. Still, Mr. Biden tweeted his satisfaction.
“Here at the G20, leaders representing 80% of global GDP – allies and competitors alike – have clearly expressed their support for a strong global minimum tax,” the president said in the tweet. “It’s more than just a tax deal – it’s diplomacy that is reshaping our global economy and serving our people.”
On other issues critical to equity around the world, including access tovaccines – the first of its two-day summit – heard calls to increase the percentage of people in poor countries vaccinated.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made an urgent appeal to step up the pace of vaccine delivery to poor countries as he opened a conference of the world’s most powerful economies. Draghi, the summit’s host, said on Saturday that only 3% of people in the world’s poorest countries are vaccinated, while 70% in rich countries have had at least one injection.
“These differences are morally unacceptable and undermine the global recovery,” said Draghi, economist and former head of the European Central Bank.
World leaders at the summit were also to focus on curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, tackling climate change and addressing supply chain issues driving up prices.
The two-day summit is the first face-to-face meeting of G20 leaders since the start of the pandemic. Mr Biden’s years of foreign policy experience will be put to the test during the visit.