Some Republican senators, including a presidential hopeful, are defending strategies used by Caterpillar Inc. to save the manufacturing giant billions in U.S. taxes.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) is one of those supporting Caterpillar, noting that the company should get an “award” instead of an inquisition.
As the Associated Press reports via CBSNews.com, “Caterpillar has avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes since 2000 by shifting profits to a wholly-controlled affiliate in Switzerland, according to a report released by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.”
Levin, who chairs the Senate investigations subcommittee, grilled Caterpillar executives and their accountants Tuesday at a hearing on the company’s tax strategy.
“Caterpillar is an American success story that produces iconic industrial machines,” Levin said, according to the AP, “But it is also a member of the corporate profit-shifting club that has transferred billions of dollars offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.”
Julie Lagacy, a Caterpillar vice president, said the manufacturer follows all tax laws and pays “everything” it owes.
Paul questioned the actions of the subcommittee in holding the hearing Tuesday.
“I think rather than having an inquisition, we should probably bring Caterpillar here and give them an award,” Paul reportedly said. He went on to praise the company’s ability to stay in business for more than a century, adding Caterpillar has an “obligation to shareholders” to minimize their taxes.