The New Green of Ireland
by Joel D. Joseph, Chairman, Made in the USA Foundation
Ireland has always been a country of green with beautiful fields of emerald grass. Now it is awash in a sea of American greenbacks. It appears that Ireland has stolen billions of dollars from the United States and no one is doing a thing about it.
Why do we let Ireland steal American companies? Ireland has a corporate tax rate of only 12.5%. That little island of Ireland has the same meager population of four million as the state of Oklahoma.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2014 the United States had a trade deficit with Ireland of $26 billion. That represents a staggering surplus of $6,000 for every Irish resident. This means that on average Ireland's exports exceed its imports by $6,000 for every man, woman and child in Ireland. In contrast we have a $400 billion deficit with China, an average of $300 per Chinese citizen.
Seven of the top pharmaceutical companies have left the United States for the greener shores of Ireland. Pfizer, the largest drug company in the world, now manufactures best-selling Lipitor and Viagra in Ireland. Pfizer has eight factories in Ireland employing more than 2,000 workers.
Last year, the pharmaceutical company Actavis moved from New Jersey to Ireland. Actavis is also buying Forest Labs of New York for $25 billion. The new merged company will be based in Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent -- much lower than the combined U.S. federal and state corporate tax rate of 40 percent or more in New York and New Jersey.
In 1974, GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company established its manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland and continues to expand its operations there.
Merck & Co. Inc., ranked 8th in the world for pharmaceutical sales is now based in the Emerald Isle. Established in 1891, Merck was formerly headquartered in New Jersey.