Predictably, Tim Cook had some strong thoughts on EU's tax ruling

"It's total political crap", he said. "If my tax rate fell to.005 percent, I would think I need to have a second look at my tax bill".

On the streets of Dublin, some argued Ireland had to keep drawing foreign investors with low tax rates to provide jobs. Apple paid just 0.005% on European profits in 2014. "Tax systems are not a pay-what-you-want system".

For now, other USA companies under scrutiny for their EU tax arrangements are staying in the background as Lew, Apple and certain industry trade groups lead the charge against the European Union action. In the 1980s, Ireland began modeling itself after Bermuda, a well-known corporate tax haven, said Khadija Sharife, a forensic financial researcher and an editor at the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting. Uber uses subsidiaries in the Netherlands to shield its overseas income from United States taxes.

"There wasn't a special deal between Ireland and Apple", Cook said.

Cook asserted that Apple was not given any deals that were not available to other companies.

"It's maddening; it's disappointing; it comes from a political place - it has no basis in fact or law", he added. "Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable", Cook told the newspaper. That meant the money in those structures was not taxable anywhere - not even in Ireland - and thus not subject to Ireland's 12.5 percent tax rate. "Right now the ball is in the hands of Apple and Ireland", comments the Commissioner.

She writes: "You can not change the rules of the game through ad hoc state-aid enforcement, and then seek retroactive recovery for unpaid taxes".

"The Commission's move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications", he wrote. "There is no reason for it in fact or in law".

"I think it's a desire to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the United States to the European Union", he added.

CEO Tim Cook, at an Apple event in 2015.

However, the cabinet failed to agree on Wednesday whether to accept his recommendation of an appeal.

European officials, however, have suggested that usa laws were encouraging companies to avoid taxes, and the EU denies it is "grabbing" us tax receipts.

"All I can say is that we didn't open this case to upset [the U.S.]", she said in an interview with MarketWatch.

On Thursday, Mr. Cook, in an interview with Irish state broadcaster RTE, appeared to go a step further, saying Apple could start to move some of the profits it has earned from its global operations to the USA next year. As of last April, Apple had more than $181 billion in profits held outside the U.S.

The EU ruling on Tuesday said Apple had been given €13bn of "illegal" state aid, and accused the California tech giant of paying just 1 per cent tax on its European profits in 2003, falling to 0.005% in 2014 - or £50 for every £1 million in profit it made on the continent.

But Rosenthal said the issue is ultimately broader than Europe.