Women’s Chamber to Senate: We Oppose Repatriation, Tax Give-A-Ways to Big Business

Today, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce took a stand in support of America's Main Street Businesses calling upon the Senate to reject tax give-a-ways to big businesses that do not support America.

You may download a PDF of the full letter here, or view the contents below.

6:54 pm 12/7/11 - The Hill covers our letter sent to the Senate.
10:28 am 12/8/11 - Read the USWCC Op-Ed published at The Hill

December 7, 2011

The Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, United States Senate
U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce Opposes Repatriation, Tax Holiday for U.S.-Based Multinational Corporations Which Rewards Anti-American Behavior and Undermines Our American EconomyDear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, representing 500,000 members nationwide, strongly opposes ill-conceived legislation currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate to reward America's largest multi-national businesses for their anti-American tax-dodging schemes by allowing them to bring back hundreds of billions in off-shored profits to the U.S. with massive, unwarranted tax discounts.

So called, 'Repatriation' and 'Tax Holidays' are nothing more than unfair and anti-American give-a-ways to big businesses that have lobbying and political donor clout in Washington, D.C.  It's time to restore American values -- including holding big business accountable for paying their fair share of taxes to support our American economy and infrastructure.  Rewarding big business for bad, anti-American and anti-competitive behavior is not the way to lead America back to prosperity and economic leadership.

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce believes Congress should take note of a recent report published by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, Development in Women-owned Businesses, 1997 - 2007 that finds, between 1997 and 2007, publically held firms (which represent only 3 percent of all firms in the U.S.) dramatically grew their percent of total business receipts from 54.8% to 63.6%.  During this same time period, non-public firms lost a wrenching 8.82 percent market share.  The continued growth of big business squeezing out revenues-based market share growth has at its roots the many and growing advantages big businesses secure through Congressional influence every year.  Tax breaks, tax havens, tax holidays, bail outs and all the other unwarranted privileges afforded big business must stop. America's Main Street businesses can't afford to be treated like second class citizens anymore.

Small businesses care about America, our communities and our families.  We care that our government has the funds to keep our roads and transportation working, educators preparing our next generation, and resources to defend our country.

We don't have millions to spend on lobbyists for the purpose of securing undue and unwarranted favoritism.  If small business owners decided to stop paying our fair share of taxes, we'd be sent to jail.  Why are big businesses, who employ thousands of lobbyists, accountants and attorneys for the explicit purpose of not paying their fair share of U.S. taxes, held to a different standard?

Consider the following:

  1. Multi-national corporations active in federal contracting that systematically rob the United States of tax-dollars through anti-American tax-dodging schemes receive unfair cost advantages which make it harder for small businesses to compete and win federal contracts.  Our own tax dollars, investments in America made by our citizens, may be directly siphoned to off-shore tax-havens through federal contracting.
  2. Small businesses seeking entry into growth industries are consistently undermined through anti-competitive off-shoring and tax-haven practices.
  3. Studies have shown that the 2004 repatriation tax break did not achieve positive results.  This repatriation did not produce U.S. jobs, reduce our deficit, or bring about increased investments in research and development.  Instead, big firms engaged in stock buy-backs, increased their executive compensation and continued to stockpile money offshore.  The bottom line -- these firms learned of the great rewards they received for their stockpiling money offshore, and are now ready to abuse America again through getting another tax holiday.  All while pro-American businesses pay their fair share, and keep jobs and revenues in America.

Rather than helping America, a big-business tax holiday will continue to undermine America's economy and reinforce the anti-American tax strategies employed by big multi-national firms.  The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the tax breaks under consideration would cost the U.S. Treasury nearly $80 billion over ten years, as corporations are encouraged to move their profits offshore while they wait for the next tax holiday.

These tax-dodging schemes are grossly unfair to America's Main Street businesses.  We've already seen the failures of the last repatriation.  We've seen the shrinking small business share of business receipts over the last decade.  And, we've seen the continued disproportionate influence of and favoritism shown to big business in American politics.

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce demands that Congress stand up for Main Street American businesses who must compete in a marketplace that is already skewed against us.  We ask the Senate to bar this most recent big-business give-away; tell America's big businesses to stop abusing tax havens and just bring their money home!



Margot Dorfman, CEO
U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce


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