The U.S. Senate is considering the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today during Finance Committee hearings and Senator John Kerry has penned an article on the Politico web site outlining his goal to close down the evil tax havens (like Panama).
Although he concedes that both countries will benefit from the FTA, he makes it clear that "many of the factors that contribute to Panama’s economic growth also make it a sanctuary for tax cheats and money laundering – and that needs to be remedied". So, a sitting United States senator feels it his duty to "remedy" a problem for the U.S. in a foreign country. A problem that even he acknowledges has been partially responsible for Panama's recent economic growth.
Senator Kerry likes to frame his argument around the need to "stop terrorist organizations, drug cartels and other criminal groups from exploiting bank secrecy havens". But the real reason behind all this is made clear when he says "we need to protect against efforts by U.S. citizens to evade taxes". But in his zeal to catch "tax evaders" he is also casting a wide net against those that legitimately use Panama's corporation laws to protect their assets.
Most ominously though is this quote from the honorable Senator Kerry when he describes Panama as a "place where it’s easy to set up an impenetrable offshore company and open a bank account shielded from the prying eyes of the Internal Revenue Service". I think that just about sums it up.
Read more: "John Kerry: Let's close tax evader loopholes - Sen. John F. Kerry - POLITICO.com" -