Germany and Canada Start Bank Tax Campaigns

May 21, 2010 International Tax CooperationTaxation in CanadaTaxation in ChinaTaxation in EUTaxation in GermanyTaxation in IndiaTaxation in USA

Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper addresses the worlds mediaThe Government of Germany and the Government of Canada are initiating separate international bank tax campaigns, although, the two nations are pursuing for opposing views.

Ahead of the upcoming June G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, the German and Canadian Governments are increasing efforts in swaying international Governments towards their views on the proposed introduction of an international bank tax system. At a conference on new financial regulations held in Berlin on May 20th, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated “We will campaign for a tax on the financial markets and we will campaign for that at our (G20) summit in Canada.” While in the week leading up to Angela Merkel’s statements, several Federal Canadian Cabinet Ministers met with select international delegations to advocate an opposition to an international bank tax.

On May 18th Jim Flaherty, Finance Minister of Canada, met in Mumbai with representatives of the Indian Government to explain the Canadian view on an international bank tax. On the same day, Stockwell Day, Minister for the Asia–Pacific Gateway, held a meeting in Beijing, and Peter Van Loan, International Trade Minister, spoke at a conference in Washington D.C. All three officials campaigned against any proposed bank tax. Tony Clement, Industry Minister of Canada, hosted a corresponding conference in Canada and explained the Government’s stance, saying, “Make no mistake, our government is opposed to a global bank tax. This tax would reach into consumers’ pockets and punish our financial institutions, which have taken precautions to avoid turmoil.” The Canadian Government has also explained that the national bank system is safe and renowned for its stability, and the Canadian finance industry should not have to pay for the mistakes of other nations. Stockwell Day has already reported that the Government of the People’s Republic of China fully supports and shares Canada’s sentiment.

Conversely, Angela Merkel used the current Euro-zone debt crisis to springboard into advocating the need for a set of unifying international financial regulations, including fiscal measures such as multinational bank tax. Angela Merkel stated on May 20th that the German Government will continue to rally supporters for an international bank tax until the upcoming G20 Summit. If no conclusive decision is reached among G20 leaders, the Chancellor will continue her efforts in reaching a Euro-Zone only solution.

Photo by London Summit