USA: Corporations increasingly vocal on social issues but still mostly lobbying for lower taxes - Oxfam America report

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Article
25 April 2018

Words matter, but lobbying dollars get the job done

Author: Irit Tamir, Oxfam America

Today Oxfam released a new report, Dollars and Sense: Corporate Responsibility in the Trump Era, which compares how 70 US companies used their corporate voice publicly over the first year of the Trump administration. We read every public statement, scoured every publicly available corporate policy and dug into the lobbying disclosures of each of the top 10 companies across seven key sectors. Our main finding calls into question whether corporate America has truly earned the praise it has received in some corners for speaking out against President Trump’s policies and rhetoric. We discovered that while many companies and their executives have unquestionably spoken out in very public ways in 2017, behind closed doors, they primarily used their lobbying power to push for lower taxes. In other words, when it comes to the responsible use of corporate power, less has changed in the era of Trump than meets the eye.

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Report
24 April 2018

Dollars and Sense: Corporate Responsibility in the Trump Era

Author: Oxfam America

Full report

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Article
13 April 2018

Company lobbying for lower taxes exceeds social activism, Oxfam America claims

Author: Oxfam America (US)

"Corporations Increasingly Vocal on Social Issues but Still Mostly Lobbying for Lower Taxes" 12 Apr 2018

Some...corporations in America...have garnered attention for speaking out against President Trump’s policies...in the first year of his administration, but primarily flexed their muscle in Washington advocating for lower taxes. Today’s CEOs have more appetite to align their company’s public image with specific sides in some of the country’s most contested and polarized debates...but when we look at what they are lobbying on behind closed doors, they really...want to pay less in taxes while other issues take a back seat.The Oxfam analysis report...found that the 70 companies on our list collectively spent more than $280 million to lobby Congress on more than 3,000 issues in 2017. They reported lobbying on climate change 19 times; 138 times on diversity and inclusion and 552 times on tax. That translates into an estimated $1.5 million spent lobbying on climate...$11 million on diversity and inclusion issues, and almost $44 million...on tax. The US business community lobbied...to change how companies with overseas operations are taxed, and this lobbying paid off enormously. We estimate...their return on investment for tax lobbying includes lowering their tax bill by $313 billion on offshore earnings alone. [Refers to Andeavor, Biogen, Burlington Stores, EOG Resources, Incorporated, Occidental Petroleum].

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