Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca is being questioned by senators and Maryland and Delaware governors.
Maryland and Delaware governors have written to Pfizer’s boss saying they are “very concerned” about the deal and the possibilities of job losses in their states.
Meanwhile senators Carl Levin and Roy Wyden are looking to close the tax loophole that Pfizer plans to use.
One of the attractions of the deal to Pfizer is that it could significantly lower the company’s tax bill.
Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca is being questioned by senators and Maryland and Delaware governors
In a strategy known as “tax inversion” Pfizer could pay the UK corporate tax rate of 20%, rather than the 35% rate applied in the US, if it bought AstraZeneca.
Senator Carl Levin said in a statement: “I’ve long been concerned about inversions – companies moving offshore on paper, for tax purposes, while the management and operations remain in the United States.
“It’s become increasingly clear that a loophole in our tax laws allowing these inversions threatens to devastate federal tax receipts.
“We have to close that loophole. I am talking to my colleagues about legislation to close the loophole, which I intend to introduce soon.”
Meanwhile governors Martin O’Malley and Jack Markell are concerned about job losses.
AstraZeneca employs approximately 3,100 people in Maryland, and has around 2,600 staff in Delaware.
The governors are concerned about reports that Pfizer has given assurances to the UK government that there will be no British job losses at AstraZeneca.
They say they have had no similar assurances about AstraZeneca facilities in their states.
“Our concern is exacerbated by Pfizer’s history of closing US research facilities, including sites in Michigan and Illinois, after closing on previous corporate transactions,” Martin O’Malley and Jack Markell said in a statement.
Paul Kevin Curtis has been arrested in Mississippi after letters containing suspected ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and Republican Senator Roger Wicker.
The alleged sender, Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, is a resident of Mississippi.
Initial tests on the letters, identified at remote facilities, showed the presence of ricin, a lethal toxin.
The FBI has said there is “no indication of a connection” between the letters and Monday’s deadly attack in Boston.
The letters addressed to President Barack Obama and Republican Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker were both postmarked Memphis, Tennessee, and dated April 8.
Paul Kevin Curtis has been arrested in Mississippi after letters containing suspected ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and Republican Senator Roger Wicker
According to US media citing intelligence sources, the letters read: “To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”
The letters were reportedly signed: “I am KC and I approve this message.”
The FBI said Paul Kevin Curtis also allegedly sent a third letter positively identified for ricin to a Mississippi justice official.
The contents of the letter intended for Barack Obama were being sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis, the FBI said, with results expected in 24 to 48 hours.
Earlier, police questioned a man in the near the Capitol who had a backpack containing sealed envelopes, but he was not taken into custody.
Reports of suspicious packages and envelopes also led to areas within two Senate office buildings being cleared temporarily.
Meanwhile Democratic Senator Carl Levin said an aide had received a suspicious-looking letter and that the authorities were investigating. The staff member had no symptoms, Senator Carl Levin said in a statement, but was staying overnight in hospital as a precaution.
All congressional mail has been sorted and tested off-site since letters laced with anthrax were posted to two senators in 2001.
A spokesman for the Secret Service, which protects the US president and his family, said it was liaising with the Capitol Police and the FBI to trace the origins of the letters.
Ricin, extracted from castor beans, is 1,000 times more toxic than cyanide.
The toxin can be fatal when inhaled, swallowed or injected, although it is possible to recover from exposure.