Obama told CNBC that US companies operating from Ireland are ‘gaming the system’

President Obama has slated companies that relocate to Ireland for tax purposes, accusing them of being unpatriotic and abandoning their US citizenship obligations.

In an interview with news broadcaster CNBC, Obama said that companies who abuse the system were taking advantage of "unpatriotic tax loopholes".

Many US companies relocate to tax havens like Ireland or Luxembourg to minimise their taxes, but the president of the United States says this is cheating the system.

"If you are basically still an American company but you simply change your mailing address in order to avoid paying taxes then you are really not doing right by the country and its people," he told the broadcaster.

"What we are trying to do is to say that if you simply acquire a small company in Ireland or some other country to take advantage of the low tax rate and you start saying, 'we are now magically an Irish company', despite the fact that you might have only 100 employees there and you have got 10,000 employees in the United States, you are just gaming the system. You are an American company."

He went on to say that there were many positives for companies that choose to stay true to their roots.

"Companies thrive in the United States in part because they benefit from the best university system in the world, the best infrastructure.

"There are a whole range of benefits that have helped to build companies, create value, create profits.

"For you to continue to benefit from that entire architecture that helps you thrive, but move your technical address simply to avoid paying taxes, is neither fair, nor is it something that's going to be good for the country over the long term."