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AP FACT CHECK: Trump and the mirage of overseas profits

Last Updated Dec 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm EDT

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House via Marine One in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, to spend the weekend at Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump speaks often of a pile of money sitting overseas that will come rushing back into the U.S. because of his tax plan. An AP Fact Check finds that’s something of a mirage.

Some U.S. companies park profits overseas because of the high corporate tax rate at home. A lower rate should indeed bring some profits back to the U.S. But Trump’s estimate of $4 trillion appears unrealistic. And when companies last got a tax holiday, they tended not to use it for hiring or operations.

A 2004 law temporarily cut taxes on repatriated profits to 5.25 per cent from 35 per cent. About 843 companies brought back $312 billion. But a 2011 Congressional Research Service report found that the tax holiday “did not increase domestic investment or employment.”

EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures