The effects of the Panama Papers leak episode have been felt globally but surprisingly, not mush has been heard about its consequences in the US where the procedure for the election of the next occupant of the White House is currently underway.
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So far, the reaction in the US on this issue has been muted. The probe has not named any well-known American but as a leading writer has said to wait for what is coming next, things could take any surprising twist at any moment. [What is Panama Papers leak episode?]
Bernie Sanders predicted this five years ago
The issue should have brought into focus the Democratic Party's pro-free trade agreements and boost the chances of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator who is racing against Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination. For it was Sanders who had partly predicted this outcome when the Obama administration signed the Panama free trade agreement five years ago. [Confusion over news of Iceland PM's resignation]
Sanders had said on the House floor then: ""Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade US taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. And the Panama free trade agreement would make this bad situation much worse." [See this video]
The free trade pact was still implemented, thanks to the strong support by President Barack Obama and the then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Also, as IB Times journalist David Sirota said, the emails of an aide of Clinton aide showed that the state department knew about the apprehensions that Panama would become more of a tax haven that it already was but still backed the idea.
That Americans store vast wealth in foreign tax havens is something not new and a lot of minds are curious to know whether the Panama Papers leak reveals something of that sort which can make the ongoing American presidential election more interesting.
The justice department of the US is reportedly reviewing the leaks. It remains to be seen whether any well-known American politician will also be named in the leak. These politicians are known to accept donations from the country's huge corporations and wealthy individuals who themselves eye tax havens. On return, these politicians ensure that their wealth parked abroad remains out of the reach of the country's law.
Will the American authorities seriously take up this issue of tax loopholes particularly after one of the candidates of the presidential election warned about this five years ago?