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When it emerged that the leaders of the world’s richest countries had reached an agreement to deal with cross-border tax abuses by some multinational corporations, it was seen as the latest evidence that multilateralism is back.

The agreement, reached over the weekend, will force the world’s biggest companies to pay more tax in countries where they earn big amounts of revenue, irrespective of whether they have headquarters there. Ever since “globalisation” became an easily recognisable word, there have been complaints about how powerful corporations play countries against each other...

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