French President Jacques Chirac is the latest leader to call for the imposition of an international tax to help fight poverty.
Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Chirac praised a report prepared by a French working group that proposed a global tax be levied on arms sales and some financial transactions.
The report contains “technically realistic and economically rational solutions,” said Chirac, who joined forces with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to push the anti-poverty agenda.
They will attempt to push forward the plan with the goal of cutting in half the number of people in poverty by 2015, as United Nations leaders pledged in 2000.
A declaration signed by 110 countries urged governments to consider the report.
Chirac’s ideas were strongly attacked by the U.S. delegation.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said, “global taxes are inherently undemocratic. Implementation is impossible.”
This is not the first time Chirac and other world leaders have called for a global tax.
Last year, some at the G8 summit meeting floated the idea of a global tax on arms sales, including – at Chirac’s suggestion – a tax on gun purchases by individuals.
In a speech at the annual meeting of the “Group of Eight,” or G8, da Silva pushed the arms-sales tax as a scheme whereby the world’s wealthiest nations could fund efforts to eliminate world hunger.
The “Group of Eight” includes the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia.
Calling the Brazilian leader’s proposal “forceful and convincing,” Chirac was reluctant to back a levy on weapons manufacturers in France and elsewhere, but suggested a global tax on firearms purchases made by individuals, said the report.