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Coke CEO Says It’s Easier to do Business with Communist China Than With U.S.


"I think the US has the tendency of becoming less and less open to business."

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent thinks U.S. corporations are at a disadvantage compared to those based elsewhere thanks to America’s labyrinthine tax code, he told the Financial Times in an interview published earlier this week.

“I believe the U.S. owes itself to create a 21st-century tax policy,” Kent said.

His biggest issue? The tax on repatriated earnings, which he says forces U.S.-based companies—unlike those based in other countries—to pay “a very large tax burden” on money earned overseas and brought back to the US, reports a recent Newser article.

He said that “in many respects” it is now easier to do business in places like China, where “local governments are fighting for investments with each other."

In the West, he said, “we’re forgetting what really worked 20 years ago."

He also added that Coke was still hiring in the U.S. and had invested $10 billion here over the past two and a half years.

“There aren’t many companies in the United States that are investing and hiring. We’re one of them," he said.

Other executives in charge of the American market for Chinese companies ZTE and Air China agreed. They recently met with U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and other international business consultants to discuss conducting business in America.

"It is getting easier and easier to do business in China as the country is becoming more and more open to business," said Chi Zhihang, vice-president and general manager of North American operations for Air China, China's national flag carrier of civil aviation.

"I think the US has the tendency of becoming less and less open to business," he said in a recent China Daily USA report.

If ever there was an argument against the current U.S. tax code, it is the fact that even the Communist Chinese think that it has made the U.S. anti-business.

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