Video: US President Biden Mentions Bermuda

April 29, 2021

[Updated] Marking the second time he has mentioned the island during a speech this month, U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned Bermuda during his Presidential Address to Congress last night [April 28], claiming that “a lot of companies also evade taxes through tax havens in Switzerland and Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.”

Speaking last night – during a speech that was being broadcast live on the major US television networks and trending #1 on Twitter — President Biden said, “A recent study shows that 55 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid zero federal tax last year. Those 55 corporations made in excess of $40 billion in profit.

“A lot of companies also evade taxes through tax havens in Switzerland and Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas. It’s not right. We’re going to reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share.”

President Biden previously mentioned Bermuda this month, saying he has “proposed a global minimum tax” which means “companies aren’t going to be able to hide their income in places like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, in tax havens.”

While we are not normally mentioned in Presidential Addresses to Congress, we have had overseas politicians mention the island, often along with the Cayman, especially in their campaign time, with some campaigns creating video ads to highlight their opponent’s ties to any Bermuda connected corporation.

We asked the Government for comment last night and will update as able.

Opposition Leader Cole Simons sent out a statement which said, “Last night during President Biden’s first Joint Session of Congress speech, in one of the strongest parliaments in the world, President Biden showcased Bermuda in an unprecedented manner, unlike any other US President in the past twenty years.

“He did the unthinkable and singled out Bermuda as a “tax haven” on an international stage, and it should be extremely alarming for Bermuda. Through the President, the Biden administration made it very clear that Bermuda is in their crosshairs when it comes to tax reform and offshore financial centres. With a global audience of millions of people, this is not the type of attention this island needs.

“What are our so-called friends in the Democratic Party in Washington doing to educate the Biden administration about the critical role Bermuda plays and contributes to the United States financial service industry and economy? What are the lobbyists in Washington D.C. being paid for and what is Bermuda’s U.S. Counsel General doing, if these messages are not reaching the highest levels of power in the U.S?

“Our Government, a delegation from our global reinsurance companies, delegates from others in the International Business sector, along with the Opposition, should go with haste to Washington to educate and remind our U.S. friends of the critical role that Bermuda plays to support the U.S. economy and other items such as:

  • Bermuda existing U.S. tax treaty;
  • The fact that Bermuda firms provide the catastrophe, property and casualty insurance, cyber insurance, directors, and officers insurance cover to major U.S. corporations;
  • The support that Bermuda gave to the U.S. insurance and reinsurance market, through our international reinsurance carriers.
  • The hurricane, fire, earthquake insurance cover that Bermuda companies provide for the hurricanes, fires and floodings which plague the U.S. on an annual basis
  • The support that Bermuda gave them during the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York.
  • About the billions of dollars that Bermuda’s reinsurance industry pays annually for most of their catastrophic events, and will continue to pay to the U.S. Billions of dollars in claims, to help keep some of their local economies afloat.
  • The thousands of jobs created in the U.S. because of our financial service industry.

“Bermuda must not take this serious threat lightly, we must take action now, as this could also be the beginning of a strategic threat being foisted upon all offshore centres by the OECD and the E.U. in regards to international corporate tax harmonization,” Mr Simons said.

Update 8.05pm: A Government spokesperson said, “Bermuda has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to transparency and regulatory excellence over the years to build a reputation as a good place to do quality business. Considerable time and resources have been, and continue to be, invested in developing and implementing strong and robust legislative and operational frameworks to ensure compliance with international requirements.

“The comparative tax differences that exist in the international arena are due to the different models that are adopted by different jurisdictions. Our tax system, which was developed in the nineteenth century, was shaped for efficiency and fairness to Bermudian taxpayers. In cross border tax and related matters, we are fully cooperative and transparent. We have a comprehensive framework that promotes reporting, detection and enforcement to enable countries to combat tax evasion.

“We recognize the United States of America as a key strategic partner with whom we enjoy a close and productive relationship in business as well as in education and scientific matters. In relation to tax issues, we work closely with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through our various agreements to exchange tax information; including our tax information exchange agreement (TIEA), our Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and our Country by Country Reporting agreement (CbCR). Information is exchanged under these arrangements both automatically and by request. Through these and other mechanisms, we proactively work to deter and address actions to use our jurisdiction for tax evasion and other financial crimes.

“Bermuda is actively involved in discussions relating to tax and other related matters, either as part of the relevant global meetings or through bilateral communication with foreign government and public officials. We will continue our work in that regard, with the US and with other key allies.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. trufth says:

    What support did we give the US during 9/11?

    • Critical support says:

      Bermuda provided critical back haul for telecommunications to route around the loss of fiber at the 911 site! We helped Wall Street stay open! Just say “thank you” PROTus and leave us alone!

      • saud says:

        You believe Bermuda provided an alternate communications route for the trade center? LOL

  2. Not Applicable says:

    Yeah but no more Orange Man Bad. You got what you all claimed you wanted, Biden in the WH, now look! You will reap what you sow.

  3. Ballroom Bliss says:

    I told everyone that Biden has already mentioned and targeted Bermuda before, and has made vows which would essentially destroy our economy overnight, if acted on. Yet Bermudians still loved Biden over Trump, leading up to the 2020 election. Just shows how blissful ignorance can be.

  4. WillSee says:

    And the Re Insurance treaty made between Reagan and the UBP will EXPIRE IN 5 YRS!

  5. Vote for Me says:

    Thank you MP Simons
    First a call for residents to be angry and now histrionics about President Biden’s speech. If you are genuinely concerned, the first call should be to our very able Minister of Finance to perhaps see what is or has been done.

    For readers, note the other Bernews headline – S&P Affirms Bermuda’s A+ Ratings
    (April 28, 2021) which shows that an objective measure of Bermuda’s immediate financial outlook is positive, notwithstanding the grandstanding of MP Simons and some of his colleagues.

    • wahoo says:

      “our very able Minister of Finance” well glad you think so….Even if he is, he is too buried in a pile of green that won’t let him do what he knows needs to be done.

  6. FU PROTus says:

    Look at your own Delaware tax evaders and those in Virginia before you go picking a fight with us! Don’t worry Joe is in borrowed time!

  7. LOL - the real one says:

    Be calm. Xiden cannot find Bermuda on a map.

  8. Dunn juice says:

    Biden forgot already what he Said. Don’t worry