The Grassroots Corner June 5, 2023

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 06/05/2023

They aren't American any longer

You will be surprised to see the list of familiar household brands that are no longer American. How many of these brands would still be American if we had the FAIRtax?

Unfortunately, selling out to foreign entities makes sense because American companies have to pay US income tax on their worldwide income. Foreign companies don’t. Foreign companies pay US tax only on income from their US operations, and their home countries usually restrict their tax reach to domestic operations only. Therefore, foreign ownership of a US company just makes good business sense.  It enables the company to better shelter income from its foreign operations from the tentacles of the IRS. Until we have the FAIRtax, whose reach is limited to US retail consumption, foreign companies will continue to gobble up US household brands.

Recently Worthly.Com posted an article titled “American Companies That Actually Aren’t American Any More.” You can page through the entries at:

Many of these formerly US companies now come under Chinese ownership. They include:
  1. Dirt Devil, whose owner now is Techtronic Industries, China.
  2. Forbes Magazine, whose owner now is Integrated Whale Media, China, which bought the magazine for $400 million in 2014.
  3. General Motors has partnered with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, China.
  4. General Electric sold its appliances business to Haier, China, in 2016 for $5.4 billion.
  5. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, now belongs to the Anbang Insurance Group of China, which purchased it for $1.95 billion.
  6. Motorola now belongs to Lenovo, China, which purchased it in 2014 for $2.9 billion.
  7. IBM also belongs to Lenovo, China, which purchased it in 2004 for $1.75 billion.
  8. Hoover now belongs to Techtronic, China, which purchased it in 2006 for $7.7 billion.
  9. Spotify, which has partnered with Tencent Holdings, China.
  10. Snapchat, 10% of whom belongs to Tencent Holdings, China.
  11. Segway Inc., which now belongs to Ninebot, China, which purchased it in 2015 for $80 million.
  12. AMC Theaters, which now belongs to the Wanda Group, China, which purchased it in 2012 for $2.6 billion.
  If China were a normal, friendly country, there would be no concern about Chinese companies owning American subsidiaries. But China is not normal or friendly.  When a Chinese company buys an American company, the Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party demand that the American company turn over all of its sensitive data.  And we know the Chinese Government uses that data for malicious purposes. We recently saw TikTok in the news over a concern that data gathered from its American customers is being used to spy on the United States.  A US company from the above list that becomes a Chinese subsidiary could easily be turned into a Chinese spy just like TikTok.

  There is no reciprocity. Chinese companies doing business in the US don’t have to turn over any data unless the US government goes to court and gets a warrant.

  If the FAIRtax were in place, the United States would be the tax-friendliest place on the planet to do business.  Selling out to a foreign company would be a terrible business decision.  With the FAIRtax, not only would American companies stay in America, foreign companies would move here in droves bringing millions of jobs with them.

I would love to hear if you have a story about an American company that became a subsidiary of a foreign owner because of our tax code.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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