A U.S. Senate report says a 2004 tax break let American companies bring back billions of dollars in offshore earnings at a very low tax rate.
Senator Carl Levin of Michigan says companies including Coca-Cola, IBM and Pfizer got a windfall, but didn’t live up to their promises:
"There was no way to make sure that when they brought the money back they would use it for what they use it for – which was to create jobs and have more R&D – research and development,” Levin says.
Instead, Levin says the companies cut jobs and research, while executive pay went up.
He says if Washington repeats the offshore tax break, the treasury will lose up to $80 billion over ten years.
Other companies that took the repatriating tax break include Altria, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont, Eli Lilly, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Oracle, and Procter & Gamble.