The Democratic Presidential candidates all slammed the $160-billion Pfizer-Allergan merger on Monday, calling it a brazen tool for the company to shield its profits from federal taxes.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley all separately released statements damning the deal and calling it unfair. The deal would relocate the company’s legal and tax residency to Ireland as part of a controversial tax-saving strategy.
Clinton said she would call for new steps to prevent mega-mergers that “disadvantage small businesses and domestic firms that cannot game the international tax system.”
“This proposed merger, and so-called ‘inversions’ by other companies, will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag,” Clinton said. “As President, I will fight to reform our tax system to reward growth, innovation, and job creation here in the United States.”
Sanders called on President Obama to stop the merger, saying it “would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs” and would “allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas.”
O’Malley called the deal “fundamentally unfair” and said he would “aggressively enforce our antitrust laws to counter dramatic price increases in healthcare.”
All of the Democratic candidates have called for measures to reduce the cost of healthcare and regulate the pharmaceutical industry. The Pfizer-Allergan deal will be subject to regulatory scrutiny.