Apple’s Cook Has Tête-à-Tête With Irish Taoiseach

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Tim Cook

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook had a private meeting with Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny on Friday after touring an Apple facility in Cork, Ireland, reports the Journal. The Apple facility at Hollyhill Industrial Estate assembles the MacBook Pro and employs over 4,000 workers.

According to The Independent, the Taoiseach was meeting with the Apple CEO to discuss the company’s operations in Ireland and the potential for expansion. Kenny noted that Cook was “exceptionally happy” with the company’s Ireland-based operation, reports the Journal. Apple employs 3,300 people in Ireland and is one of the country’s largest multinational employers after Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), reports The Independent.

Although Cook visited a facility that makes computers, Apple’s Ireland-based operations are perhaps best known for being an essential part of the California-based company’s elaborate tax avoidance strategies. Last year, Cook made an appearance in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in order to answer questions about the company’s offshore tax practices. The Senate hearing revealed that Apple avoided income taxes on $74 billion in profit made between 2009 and 2012 by using multiple subsidiaries based in low-tax countries such as Ireland.

According to the Journal, Kenny discussed the tax issue during their meeting, although it was not clear who broached the subject. “I pointed out to Cook that Ireland, as a member of the [European] Union, is participating in the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] discussions that are taking place now about an international response in terms of clarity about the tax position,” Kenny told the Journal. “There are fifteen different sectors involving that and Ireland is participating in them all.”

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