Durbin Urges Monsanto CEO to Reconsider Inversion Strategy that Would Cost U.S. Taxpayers Hundreds of Millions Each Year

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In a meeting with the CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged the company to keep its tax address in the United States if its intended acquisition of Syngenta AG is successful.  Durbin also reiterated his commitment to passing the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2015 which would lower the 80% continuity of ownership test under Section 7874 of the tax code to 50%, effectively preventing Monsanto from moving forward with its plan to avoid U.S. taxes by acquiring Syngenta. 


“Like so many large companies in the U.S., Monsanto has prospered in large part due to U.S. taxpayer-funded programs and services.  Where would Monsanto be without the U.S. farm program and our world class research labs?” said Durbin.  “Today, I urged Monsanto CEO High Grant to reconsider the company’s corporate inversion plans to move its tax address to Europe.  I also made it very clear that I will do all I can in Congress to close the loophole that allows corporations to avoid their U.S. tax responsibility.”


In January, Durbin joined U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and U.S. Representatives Sandy Levin (D-MI) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) to introduce the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2015 that would close the corporate inversion loophole and save nearly $34 billion over ten years.  Since 2004, more than 40 U.S. corporations have inverted – many by acquiring a smaller foreign company to avoid Section 7874 of the Internal Revenue Code, which Congress enacted to discourage companies from moving their tax address to a foreign jurisdiction as part of an acquisition.


Durbin has also joined Reed, Levin, Doggett, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Al Franken (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in introducing legislation that would ban federal contracts and subcontracts for inverted companies and expand the definition of an inverted corporation.  Durbin had a similar amendment pending to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2016 that would ban defense contracts for inverted corporations and expand the definition of an inverted corporation.


In May, following news reports that Monsanto was considering acquiring Syngenta AG based in Switzerland, Durbin urged the Chairman and CEO, Hugh Grant, to keep its corporate tax headquarters in the U.S.  Additional information and the text of that letter can be found HERE.