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Harkin, DeFazio Welcome EU Action on Transaction Tax; Announce Plans to Reintroduce U.S. Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today welcomed a vote taken by 27 EU finance ministers to allow a group of 11 European governments to implement a financial transaction tax. The action allows for a tax of 10 basis points on stocks and 1 basis point on derivatives on financial transactions by the following countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Estonia.

In the U.S. Congress, Senator Harkin and Congressman DeFazio have introduced The Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax, which applies a three basis point tax (or 3 cents on every $100 financial transaction.) The Congressional Joint Tax Committee scored their proposal as raising $352 billion over 10 years in the last Congress. The lawmakers will reintroduce their measure in the coming weeks.
The lawmakers will reintroduce their measure in the coming weeks, including an exemption for retirement and education savings.

"Our transaction tax proposal raises considerable revenue with little impact on economically beneficial transactions," said Harkin. "It is a tax that does not harm small businesses or the middle class and Wall Street can certainly afford it. I applaud the action taken by the EU today and hope that we will soon have U.S. action on this issue."

"In the coming months, our country will need to make hard decisions to get back on sound fiscal footing. Our financial transaction tax should be a no-brainer. This tax would target speculators who create tremendous volatility by flipping stocks a thousand times a minute. I, too, applaud the EU. Today's actions mean there will be less opportunity to shift U.S. trading overseas to avoid a U.S. FTT. Wall Street's criticisms of an FTT are rapidly shrinking," said DeFazio.

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