“We have US citizens living here. Some do not want to pay taxes. We have US citizens involved in financing of terrorism, money laundering - all criminal activities. You have citizens here with dual US and Trini citizenship.
They are doing the same thing,” he said.
In an interview with Newsday on Wednesday at the US Embassy in St Clair, Port-of-Spain, Estrada noted comments made in some quarters that he should stay out of the debate on the local Tax Information Exchange Bill that will pave the way to make this country FATCA compliant.
As the law affects US laws, he said, “I will continue to speak up to make sure that the right information about it is out there, instead of innuendoes, propaganda and political football.” Noting that FATCA deals with US citizens evading taxes, and accumulating illegal wealth overseas, he said, US banks may back away because they will not want to be a part of the penalty that will be imposed.
This in turn could affect people who may want to transfer money, buy and sell property, shop online, and import food stuff.
“It will affect this country in a big way. This has nothing to do with trampling on the rights of citizens,” he said, and “with big stick bullying, or the latest comment I heard about US colonialism and Trinidad and Tobago being treated like a banana republic.” The US was never a colonial master nor was it a colony, he said.
On Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s comments that when US President Donald Trump takes office, the FATCA would be repealed, Estrada said, “I don’t know where the Opposition Leader is getting her information.”