August 6, 2014

Look what we helped make happen:

Yesterday afternoon the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reported the news: “Walgreen Stock Tumbles on Report It Won’t Invert.” Citing unnamed sources (and Sky News), the bulletin reported that Walgreens has decided not to “invert” the company’s nationality to become a Swiss company, and thus lower its U.S. tax bill as it completes its takeover of the pharmacy chain Alliance Boots.

This news represents a victory for a powerful alliance of citizen action groups, united under the banner of Americans for Tax Fairness, who have been sending a strong message to Walgreens that, if the company did not renounce plans to abandon the U.S., Americans would abandon Walgreens stores. And it represents a victory for President Obama, who had recently called on companies like Walgreens to reject using the inversion loophole to change nationality while continuing to operate in the U.S. He declared in July that “I don’t care if it’s legal, it’s wrong.” And it is a victory for members of Congress, like senators Sander Levin, Richard Durbin and Elizabeth Warren, who are still pursuing legislation that would make it illegal for large corporations to use the inversion option.

Over the last few weeks, the Campaign for America’s Future has joined other coalition groups of Americans for Tax Fairness to criticize the stampede of U.S. corporations using inversion to escape taxes – and we have focused pressure on Walgreens as that company publicly considered taking the inversion route, which would have saved them $4 billion over five years by becoming – on paper – a Swiss company, according to a report by ATF and Change to Win.

Many groups used different language to encourage supporters to sign the same message. We led our online campaign with a blunt warning: Tell Walgreens: If you leave the U.S., we will leave your stores.

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