Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Jakub Bartoszewski (Texas A&M) & Andrew P. Morriss (Texas A&M), An Archipelago of Contrasts: Blacklists, Caribbean Autonomy and the New Tax Colonialism:
Blacklists generally, and European blacklists in particular, are effectively discouraging the only successful development strategy in the Caribbean. We label this effort to forcibly impose European policies the ‘New Tax Colonialism’. Many of the same European powers who once colonised the Caribbean and forced its societies into sugar plantation economies now seek to fiscally recolonise it, crippling the most effective way to achieve economic prosperity in the region. ...
We are not advocating a standardless world, in which rogue jurisdictions undermine governance by enabling fraudsters to find safe havens. IFCs in the Caribbean and worldwide have repeatedly demonstrated their interest in making financial regulation both effective and efficient through their participation in multilateral organisations like the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and many others. Collaboration, not coercion, combined with mutual respect for sovereignty is what is needed. The EU and European nations should be working with Caribbean jurisdictions to solve problems, rather than regressing to their earlier role as colonialists and attempting to impose a restructuring of tax systems, governments, and international relations on the Caribbean.
In the end, this is ultimately a question of money. What can EU states do to protect their tax revenue? They could, of course, get their own houses in order and simplify their tax codes, reduce rates, and rationalise rate structures. Designing an efficient tax regime is not difficult; finding the political will to do so is. And since that seems much harder than imposing the New Tax Colonialism, Europe is embarking once again on an attempt to impose its will on Caribbean peoples and islands. Let’s hope the results this time are less costly for the region than was the first round of European colonialism in the Caribbean.