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G20 News: Call for more vaccines for poor countries

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G20 News: Call for more vaccines for poor countries

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ROME – 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. some multinational companies.

The decision of the Group of 20 summit in Rome was hailed by US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen as benefiting American businesses and workers.

The G20 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 for a 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, 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 across the world – including access to COVID-19 vaccines – the summit on the first of its two days – has heard calls to increase the percentage of people in poor countries being vaccinated.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged to step up the pace of vaccine delivery to poor countries as he opens a conference on 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.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to use the summit to pressure other European Union leaders to be more generous in donating vaccines to low-income countries.

But civil society advocates who have had discussions with G20 officials said the suspension of vaccine patents was crucial to increasing access in poor countries.

The summit is also facing what amounts to what has unfolded as a two-track global recovery in which rich countries are rebounding faster.

Rich countries have used vaccines and stimulus spending to jumpstart economic activity, leaving the risk that developing countries that account for a large chunk of global growth will lag behind due to low immunization rates and hardship. funding.

Macron told reporters he expects the G20 to confirm an additional $ 100 billion to support African economies.

Italy hopes the G20 will secure crucial commitments from countries representing 80% of the global economy – and responsible for about the same amount of global carbon emissions – ahead of the UN climate conference that begins on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

Most of the Rome summit leaders will travel to Glasgow as soon as the G20 ends on Sunday afternoon. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whose efforts to reduce emissions are central to tackling climate change, were participating in the Rome summit from a distance.

A recent UN report on the environment concluded that announcements by dozens of countries to target “net-zero” emissions by 2050 could, if fully implemented, limit an increase in emissions. global temperature at 2.2 ° C. This is closer but still above the less stringent target agreed in the Paris Climate Accord of keeping the temperature increase well below 2 C compared to the preindustrial era.

But halfway to the top, it was the corporate tax rate rule that dominated and stood out as an accomplishment. It aims to prevent multinational companies from hiding their profits in countries where they pay little or no tax.

White House officials say the new tax rate would create at least $ 60 billion in new income a year in the United States – a flow of money that could help partially pay for a package of social services and d infrastructure worth nearly $ 3 trillion that Biden is looking for. Adoption by the United States is essential as there are many multinational corporations headquartered there.

But Civil 20, which represents some 560 organizations from more than 100 countries, in a network making recommendations to the G20, was happy to praise it. The 15% rate is “a little more than those (rates) that we would consider tax havens,” Civil 20 manager Riccardo Moro told reporters.


Nicole Winfield contributed to this report.

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