April 23, 2017 / 8:13 AM / 4 months ago

Germany not worried by U.S. corporate tax reform plans: Schaeuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble takes part in a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium March 20, 2017.Yves Herman

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is not worried by the prospect of cuts to corporate tax rates in the United States he told German magazine Wirtschaftswoche on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday promised a big announcement about tax reform shortly and ordered a review of Obama-era tax rules written to discourage U.S. companies from relocating overseas to cut their tax bills.

"U.S. corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world," the magazine quoted Schaeuble as saying. "If the United States lowers its corporate taxes to European or international levels that won't bother me a bit. Just the opposite."

At the same time, Schaeuble said he opposed plans for a systemic change to taxation of companies based on their country of origin and a protectionist border tax favored by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the magazine reported.

The Trump administration has criticized Germany for its large trade surpluses with the United States, while Germany has said its companies make quality products that customers want to buy.

During the 2016 election campaign, Trump initially issued a plan that included proposals for cuts in tax rates for individuals and corporations, a repeal of the estate tax, an offshore profits repatriation tax holiday for multinationals and a cap on the deductibility of business interest.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal. Editing by Jane Merriman

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