This article argues that the fact that the 2021 global tax deal (focusing on Pillar 2) is cooperative is not in itself proof of the deal being beneficial (and certainly not equally beneficial) for all parties. Developing countries particularly may benefit less and possibly even lose from the agreement. The article focuses on two features of cooperation that may tilt the playing field in favour of developed countries: agenda influence and structural incentives to cooperate. Since the OECD had control over both the agenda and the ways in which the game was structured, it is not surprising that the deal served the interests of its members.
Moreover, the mechanism of Pillar 2 encourages participation and discourages future defection. In the current stage of the international tax regime, this is considered a virtue. However, it might also harbour future risks such as lock-in and cartelistic effects that might benefit the leaders of this initiative (the OECD in this case) at the expense of others. Moreover, the current regime grants significant power to those with their hands on the steering wheel. Such power could be used to disadvantage others. In the absence of mechanisms that would curtail the monopolistic power of the former, other countries risk paying excessive prices to belong in this regime.Intertax