Nicolas Mackel pictured at an event in February 2020 (Photo: Nelson Coelho)
US president-elect Joe Biden will help restore relations with the EU and contribute to more equanimity, said Luxembourg for Finance chief Nicolas Mackel on Monday.
While the legal challenges to Biden’s election from incumbent president Donald Trump rage on, Luxembourg’s financial centre is already looking forward to a more composed era under Biden. But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
Biden as part of this campaign has pledged to impose a minimum tax on all foreign earnings of US companies located overseas, such as Amazon in Luxembourg or Apple in Ireland.
Luxembourg on 6 November agreed to triple a withholding tax on interests and dividents from 5% to 15% after president Vladimir Putin in March had announced a clampdown on capital outflows from Russian businesses to parent companies in offshore locations.
Still, Mackel estimates that Biden won’t take punitive measures against the financial sector. “It shouldn’t be overlooked that for 36 years he was senator for Delaware,” Mackel said. “He’s a pragmatist who knows the importance of financial hubs like Luxembourg, Ireland or Delaware.”
Known to be proud of his Irish roots Biden’s friendliness with the Emerald Isle could yet be a disadvantage for the grand duchy. “Ireland is the principle competitor of the Luxembourg financial centre,” Mackel said without, however, being too worried for the moment.
Biden, Mackel reckons, could bring back a calmer climate and more confidence internationally. But Biden won’t resolve all problems, the LFF CEO said. “The Democrats are showing themselves more determined in their relations with China,” he said. “But what we can hope to see change is the method. It should soften and therefore the tensions will be more manageable.”
This article was originally published in French on Paperjam.lu and has been translated and edited for Delano.