Companies who move overseas are “not doing right by the country or the American people,” said President Barack Obama during an an interview aired on CNBC’s “Fast Money” aired on Thursday.
“I think most people would say, if you’re doing business here, if you’re basically still an American company, but you’re simply changing your mailing address in order to avoid paying taxes, then you really are not doing right by the country and by the American people,” Obama said.
“If you simply acquire a small company — if Ireland or some other country to take advantage of the low tax rate, you start saying, ‘We’re now magically an Irish company,’ despite the fact you may only have 100 employees there and you’ve got 10,000 employees in the United States, you’re just gaming the system,” Obama continued. “There are lot of things that may be legal that probably aren’t the right thing to do by the country.
“People are paid to maximize profits, but people are also paid to be good corporate citizens,” he continued. “They are paid to make sure they are thinking about in addition to shareholder value, how do you grow a company over the long term? And this kind of strategy, I think, undermines people’s confidence in how companies are thinking about their responsibilities to the country as a whole.”
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