By Cillian Ryan
In the First live televised debate of the 2016 United States Presidential Debate, controversial candidate Donald J Trump pledged to bring back jobs to the United States. While he spoke exclusively on the jobs that had left the United Sates in favour of Mexico and China, Donald Trump’s policies could have huge implications for Ireland and the rest of Europe too.
Donald Trump estimated during the debate that because of American companies operating in other countries, there could be anywhere between 2.5 and 5 billion U.S dollars stuck outside of the United States.
The Republican candidate said that high corporate tax rates in the United States were are driving “thousands of jobs” away to other countries that he accused of using the U.S “as a piggy bank”, in addition to claiming that the U.S has been “ripped off by every other country in the world”. While speaking on the topic of “Achieving Prosperity”, in addition to bringing back multinational business, Donald Trump spoke on the need to deregulate business, and lower both corporate taxes and the tax on higher earners, in a policy he said would be a “job creator not seen since Reagan”
It is this policy of bringing back business to the United States that is of particular interest to Ireland. According to The Irish Times, as of August 2015, there are about 1000 American companies operation in Ireland, creating 100’000 jobs and contributing a total of 11 billion dollars annually to the Irish economy, through employee wages, corporation tax and capital investment. The Irish Times also estimates that 1 in 5 Irish people working in the private sector are employed by multinationals, although the Journal.ie brings this figure closer to one in eight as of September this year.
Trumps opponent, the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton accused Mr. Trump of “living in his own reality”, as she accused him of acting in his own interest, citing a perceived 4 billion dollar tax benefit for his own family that his tax policy would bring about. She called his Reaganistic policies of lower taxes for high earners and corporations “Trumped up Trickle down” economics, while blaming the similar policies of the Reagan administration for the economic downturn of 2007. In response to Mr. Trumps figures, the former first lady and secretary of state calculated that Mr. Trump’s tax plan would cost the United States 3 and a half Billion dollars.
In contrast, Mrs. Clinton spoke of her plan to prioritise the middle class, and vowed to “build on the progress of the last 8 years”. In a potentially debate making blow, she also accused her opponent of “hiding something important” by not releasing his Tax returns, even going as far as to allude to the Republican nominee of committing Tax Evasion.
The two presidential hopefuls will go head to head again on the morning of the 10th of October, Irish time, in a town-hall style debate, where they will field questions directly from the public, but before that, the two vice-presidential candidates will debate on the morning of October 4th. After that, there will be one more presidential debate, before the American public go to the polls on November 8th.