by DAN SCHWALB
“Have it your way,” Burger King has long insisted. But now it seems the fast-food chain will be having it their way. Burger King has announced their plans to merge with Tim Hortons, a Canadian-based doughnut chain. The reason for this merger has more to do with finances than with food.
If the deal goes through, Burger King will be allowed to move it’s corporate headquarters to Canada. Moving off of American soil will save BK millions in tax dollars, as Canadian fees are much lower. The burger chain plans to open many restaurants up north, while still keeping their U.S. locations in business.
With the merge, Burger King-Tim Hortons would become the third largest food chain in the world, running 18,000 stores and counting. There is still no word on how BK plans to integrate Tim Hortons into their menu. Some predict that Burger King may shut down Tim Hortons, having bought them out simply to avoid U.S. taxes.
The United States has been losing many American-based companies to foreign nations. These corporations move off-shore not just for lower taxes, but because the cost of labor is cheaper elsewhere. With Burger King gone, Americans fear the day that all major corporations move their headquarters. President Obama has spoken out against these actions, saying that despite being legal, moving corporations offshore is “wrong”. Obama has called for “economic patriotism”, begging American companies to stay loyal to their homeland.
MY TAKE: Unless the U.S. gives incentives for corporations to stick around, we may see a mass exodus of American businesses.