It’s a rare day on the campaign trail when the Democratic and Republican presidential front-runners agree on something, but both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump came out strongly on Monday against the blockbuster merger deal between Pfizer Inc. and Allergan PLC.
The $150 billion agreement between the two companies became a flashpoint in the presidential race after it was announced Monday, fueling concerns about companies fleeing U.S. taxes by moving their legal headquarters abroad.
Under the agreement, Pfizer’s tax base would move from the U.S. to Allergan’s home territory of Ireland in what is known as a corporate inversion.
Mrs. Clinton, in a statement, said: “For too long, powerful corporations have exploited loopholes that allow them to hide earnings abroad to lower their taxes. Now Pfizer is trying to reduce its tax bill even further. This proposed merger, and so-called inversions by other companies, will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag.”
She added: “We cannot delay in cracking down on inversions that erode our tax base.”
Mr. Trump also denounced the deal, focusing on potential job losses at home.
“The fact that Pfizer is leaving our country with a tremendous loss of jobs is disgusting. Our politicians should be ashamed,” he said in a statement.
Pfizer said Monday that the company’s operational headquarters would remain in New York and didn’t signal any plans to move jobs overseas.
Mrs. Clinton’s rivals for the Democratic nomination also attacked the deal.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is running second to Mrs. Clinton on the Democratic side, said in a statement: “The Pfizer-Allergan merger would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. It also would allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas. The Obama administration has the authority to stop this merger, and it should exercise that authority. Congress also must pass real tax reform that demands that profitable corporations pay their fair share of taxes.”
Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who trails both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders in the Democratic race, said: “The Pfizer-Allergan merger is fundamentally unfair, and a prime example of how our capitalist economy is not supposed to work. American small businesses and middle-class taxpayers do not have the ability to game the system and avoid paying the taxes they owe – Pfizer should not be able to either.”
Republican candidate Ben Carson, who has been vying with Mr. Trump for front-runner status, declined to comment through a campaign spokesman.
Nov 23, 2015