Jacqueline Lainez-Flanagan on Tax Policy & Human Rights
In this episode, Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law's Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic (Associate Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law), discusses her article "Holding U.S. Corporations Accountable: Toward a Convergence of U.S. International Tax Policy and International Human Rights" published in the Pepperdine Law Review. Lainez Flanagan begins by discussing the right of foreign nationals to seek redress for violations of international law norms in U.S. courts as originally set out in the Alien Tort Statute and recent Supreme Court jurisprudence increasing U.S. parent companies' protection from accountability for wrongs committed by subsidiaries. She argues toward a convergence of American international tax policy and international human rights, outlining the vast tax benefits conferred upon U.S. parents through legislative grace, most notably the formation of foreign subsidiaries to hold profits offshore. She recommends using international tax policy to enhance the accountability of corporations, discussing existing tools and frameworks within the tax code that allow for its use in promoting human rights norms. She concludes by entreating care in foreign direct investment and the importance of respecting the rights of indigenous populations, natural resources, and native workers in foreign lands, noting that legislators, policymakers, and human rights advocates have opportunities to construct a viable tax justice framework from the existing schema embedded within the tax code.
This episode was hosted by Luce Nguyen, a college student and the co-founder of the Oberlin Policy Research Institute, an undergraduate public policy research organization based at Oberlin College. Nguyen is on Twitter at @NguyenLuce.