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The White House and Congress erupted in outrage last year when Burger King swallowed a Canadian restaurant chain and drug maker AbbVie proposed a merger with Ireland-based Shire to slash their tax payments to Uncle Sam.

President Obama denounced companies that exploit the tax-avoidance tactic as “corporate deserters.” At the Capitol, leaders from both parties called for swift action to protect the US economy. They filed numerous bills to lower corporate tax rates or close tax loopholes in an effort to quash “inversions” — the fancy legal name for sheltering income by acquiring companies with foreign headquarters.


Then began the inevitable arguments between Republicans and Democrats amid lobbying by big multinational corporations. A year of legislative gridlock later, the bills have moved nowhere.

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