The Senate has provided its final approval to a years-old treaty with Chile that, among other provisions, contains new rules around monies made in the country to help avoid the possibility of steep double taxation. That means that investing and operating in the country could become more attractive and feasible for U.S. companies.
Chile is known to have significant lithium resources, which are used in various present-day technologies. The Senate’s approval was overwhelming, with 95 voting “yes” and just two voting “no.” The two in opposition were Republicans Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom are generally known to favor a focus on domestic engagement. It doesn’t appear either made much of any public statement on the occasion of the final vote, which was held Thursday.
“But without a tax treaty with Chile, American companies could face double taxation and other barriers to investment and trade, leaving them at a significant disadvantage against foreign competitors,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Dem, recently said. “If the United States is serious about remaining ahead of countries like China, it’s imperative that we pass this treaty today and put American businesses back on a level playing field with the rest of the world when it comes to Chile.”
A few Democrats missed the final vote, but it appears every member besides Hawley and Paul voted for either the procedural step of moving on to that final vote or the underlying treaty. The vote on the former had 97 in favor and two opposed, with the one remaining South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham. Next time, he voted “yes.”
Democrats have mostly prevailed in the Senate with their party in control, approving presidential nominees en masse essentially no matter the level of Republican support. Even Joe Manchin switching sides and opposing the president’s pick still leaves the chamber evenly split, and Vice President Kamala Harris retains the power to break ties. The Senate has, among other moves, recently approved the first Muslim woman for a spot as federal judge and a longtime voting rights lawyer for another federal judgeship.