Coca-Cola CEO: Easier to Do Business in China Muhtar Kent says America needs to update its tax code By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Sep 27, 2011 9:18 AM CDT 31 comments Comments This photo provided by Coca-Cola Co., shows Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent accepting the first case of Coca-Cola produced by a new Coca-Cola facility, Oct. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Coca-Cola Co., Michael Pugh) (Newser) – Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent thinks US corporations are at a disadvantage compared to those based elsewhere thanks to America’s labyrinthine tax code, he told the Financial Times in an interview published late last night. “I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st-century tax policy,” Kent opined. His biggest issue? The tax on repatriated earnings, which he says forces US-based companies—unlike those based in other countries—to pay “a very large tax burden” on money earned overseas and brought back to the US. He said that “in many respects” it is now easier to do business in places like China, where “local governments are fighting for investments with each other." In the West, he complains, “we’re forgetting what really worked 20 years ago." But he hastened to say that Coke was hiring in the US and had invested $10 billion here over the past two and a half years. “There aren’t many companies in the United States that are investing and hiring. We’re one of them."