London (CNN Business)A group of 136 countries have agreed to a global treaty that would tax large multinationals at a minimum rate of 15% and require companies to pay taxes in the countries where they do business.
Estonia, Hungary and — most notably — Ireland joined the agreement Thursday. It is now supported by all nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the G20. The countries that signed on to the international treaty represent more than 90% of global GDP. Four countries that participated in the talks — Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — have not yet joined the agreement.
The Biden administration breathed new life into the global initiative earlier this year and secured the support of the G7 countries in June, paving the way for a preliminary deal in July.
Ireland, which had declined to join the initial agreement in July, has a corporate tax rate of 12.5% — a major factor in persuading companies such as Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) to locate their European headquarters in the country.
“Today’s agreement will make our international tax arrangements fairer and work better,” said OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann in a statement. “This is a major victory for effective and balanced multilateralism.”
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