White House: Obama to discuss Apple taxes at G-20 summit

The White House says President Barack Obama will lead a discussion of tax avoidance, spurred by the European Union's recent decision about Apple, during the G-20 summit of major economies.

Obama arrives Saturday in China for the Group of 20 meeting.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says there's a need to address the problem of eroding tax bases in a way that's fair to companies.

He says the approach needs to be consistent and globally coordinated, rather than unilateral action by individual countries.

Earnest says the issue is highly technical and the U.S. doesn't expect a major breakthrough during the G-20.

The long-running debate escalated sharply earlier this week when the EU ordered Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes, plus interest.