**EU Savings Directive**

The Washington, DC-based Centre for Freedom and Prosperity reported today that the Bush Administration has reiterated its opposition to the EU Savings Directive, an initiative it described as requiring nations to collect and share private financial information on non-resident investors.

According to a release from the Centre, Larry Lindsey, President Bush’s senior Economic Advisor and Director of the National Economic Council, has said *”the Administration does not support the EU Savings Directive — there is zero interest in it.”* This follows a similar statement of opposition from Glenn Hubbard, the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The Directive is predicated on unanimous support from all 15 EU nations and six non-EU nations, and the CFP claims this latest declaration is the death knell for the controversial initiative. The six non-EU nations include the United States, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Andorra.

According to CFP President Andrew F. Quinlan, *”Defeating the EU savings tax cartel has been the Centre’s top priority. I am extremely gratified that President Bush and his team have rejected this scheme to undermine tax competition, financial privacy, and fiscal sovereignty.”*

And, other supporters of tax competition in the United States said:

*”The EU information-sharing proposal would have enabled foreign governments to tax U.S.-source income. And because the United States has attracted about $5 trillion of passive investment from overseas, the EU cartel would have harmed America’s competitive advantage in the world economy. The Administration is defending America’s national interests and President Bush deserves thanks from everyone who supports fiscal competition and economic liberalisation.”* Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation

*”Larry Lindsey and the Bush Administration economic team are to be commended for standing up for American taxpayers. This firm stand against global tax harmonization is good tax policy. Now the Administration needs to send a clear message to the bureaucrats at Treasury to stop negotiating with the Europeans and start putting the interests of the American people before the interests of European tax collectors.”* Veronique de Rugy, Cato Institute

An earlier “Strategic Memorandum” from CFP indicated that its ongoing battle for tax competition is not an effort to preserve America’s competitive advantage in the world economy, but rather one to promote good tax policy and expand the blessings of liberty for everyone. The demise of the EU “threat” should allow tax competition to continue to serve as a liberalising force in the world economy, the Memo said. *”Governments will feel pressure to lower marginal tax rates and reduce (or even eliminate) discriminatory taxes against income that is saved and invested. Economic growth will rise, opportunity will increase, freedom will be enhanced, and living standards will improve,”* it concluded.