At the first in-person meeting in nearly two years, the leaders of the G-20, the world’s largest economies, discussed many of the most serious issues that need to be resolved as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was “a difficult year marked by great global challenges, critically among them: ending the pandemic; driving a broad-based, sustainable global economic recovery; and tackling the climate crisis,” said President Joe Biden.
“I believe we made tangible progress on each of these issues, in part because of the commitment that the United States has brought to the table.”
Some of the most serious discussions centered on possible ways to pull the global economy out of the doldrums. Among the chief problems hampering economic recovery are the world-wide slow-down in trade due to supply-chain bottle-necks, and tax avoidance by multinational corporations.
President Biden noted that the COVID-19 pandemic brought enormous disruptions to the supply chains.
“I just finished meeting with a broad coalition of partners on how to address the immediate supply chain backlogs that the world has been dealing with and facing, … and … how better to secure ourselves against these future shocks, whether a pandemic, climate change, or other disasters.”
The G-20 leaders pledged to closely monitor the on-going problems including supply chain disruptions, and to maintain their national stimulus measures in support of economic recovery.
At the same time, they agreed to historic international tax reforms to establish a more fair and stable tax system. The reforms include a 15 percent global minimum tax on multinational companies to stop them from shifting profits into low-tax havens. The reforms also include a partial re-allocation of taxing rights to reflect the realities of the modern business world.
“This is an incredible win for all our countries,” said President Biden.
“Instead of nations competing against one another to attract investments by bottoming out corporate tax rates, this set a minimum floor of 15% to ensure that giant corporations begin to pay their fair share, no matter where they’re headquartered, instead of hiding profits overseas.”
“We really are at one of the inflection points in history,” said President Biden. “So much is changing. So many pieces on the table are moving. And how they get resettled depends upon the judgments we make and whether or not the United States, among others, can lead the world in a direction that’s going to increase the circumstances for a higher standard of living for workers here and abroad.”