Apple tax ruling provokes angry reaction in the US

The EU has taken the brunt of the backlash...

Apple tax ruling provokes angry reaction in the US

Mark Lennihan / AP

Officials in the United States have been quick to register their opposition to the European Commission's ruling that Apple owes some €13bn in back taxes to the Irish State.

“The Commission’s actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the US and the EU,” the US Treasury said in a statement which described the judgment as "unfair."

Prominent republican politician and Speaker of the US House of Representatives called the decision "awful."

"Slamming a company with a giant tax bill years after the fact sends exactly the wrong message to job creators on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s also in direct violation of many European countries’ treaty obligations. This is precisely the kind of unpredictable and heavy-handed taxation that kills jobs and opportunity," Mr Ryan said in a statement.

"Above all, this is yet another reason why we need to fix our tax code. We need more American companies to invest their money and create jobs right here in the United States. Today’s decision should be a spur to action," he continued.

Senator Charles Schumer, a senior Democrat senator from New York called the investigation a "cheap money grab by the European Commission, targeting US businesses and the US tax base."

"By forcing their member states to retroactively impose taxes on US companies, the EU is unfairly undermining our ability to compete economically in Europe while grabbing tax revenues that should go toward investment here in the United States," he added.

Neither candidate in the US presidential race commented on the decision.

Hillary Clinton has publically called out US companies who have moved or tried to move to Ireland in maneuvers which would reduce their tax bills. Apple CEO Tim Cook has held fundraising events for the Democrat.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump says that the responsibility lies with US policy makers to reduce the tax burden on corporations - and that this will result in fewer going overseas.