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Merck Money

From (Communication Workers of America COPE)
Multinational Corporations: Studies in Greed

With sales up 5 percent last year, Merck & Co. was not satisfied: To hold down
costs, the pharmaceutical giant eliminated 3,200 jobs as 2003 drew to a close, and
announced that an additional 1,200 positions would go this year.

But Merck's picture abroad was quite different. It made 1,300 new hires in 2003
outside the United States. Company documents show that Merck had a cumulative $18
billion in foreign earnings untaxed by the end of last year, $3 billion more than in
2002. And the company said it had no intention of ever paying U.S. taxes on that
burgeoning sum.

"Foreign earnings of $18.0 billion...have been retained indefinitely by subsidiary
companies for reinvestment," Merck's annual filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission said. "No provision is made for income taxes that would be payable upon
distribution of such earning."

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