Relations between Hungary and the United States are based on “the close alliance that binds us together”, foreign ministry state secretary Levente Magyar said in Washington, DC on Monday.
Magyar told MTI that his visit to Washington was a timely one, given that the last visit by a Hungarian state secretary to the US capital had been three and a half years ago, as well as recent developments like the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.
“We reaffirmed with our American partners that Hungarian-US relations are based on the close alliance that binds us together, in spite of any potential disagreements, which can happen when it comes to policy, as we see the world or policy issues differently,” the state secretary said.
“We reviewed the steps we can take in the context of the war in Ukraine to ensure that this cooperation — which had been disrupted in several ways by Covid and the war in recent years — can get back to normal,” he added.
Magyar said he had briefed his US partners on the assistance Hungary is providing to Ukraine, the changes Hungary’s energy and economic situation had undergone in recent months as well as the steps the country had taken to stabilise its economy and the energy situation.
Concerning his talks at the US Department of Commerce, Magyar said he and Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, had reviewed the steps that could be taken to get bilateral economic cooperation back to where it had been before the war.
He noted that the two governments disagreed on the issue of the global minimum tax.
“This is important for America, but in Hungary we believe this is not the time to introduce it yet, as it would constitute a tax hike.” he said. Now is not the time to increase the tax burdens of businesses, Magyar said, arguing that the energy crisis had already put them at a competitive disadvantage.
“But this is a very complex issue, and we’ve agreed to carry on with the consultations,” Magyar said. He said Hungary would not back the introduction of a global minimum tax for the time being. “But, of course, since we’re allies and friends, we have to discuss everything, and I trust that sooner or later we’ll reach a consensus on this matter, too,” he added.
Magyar said he had also discussed bilateral relations with Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Though Hungary and the US agree on many issues, there are several other ones that require work, Magyar said. “But naturally both sides will strive for an agreement” and to keep advancing bilateral ties in a way that is worthy of the alliance between the two countries, he added.