WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday it was concerned about a European Commission order for Apple Inc to pay billions in unpaid taxes to Ireland because it seemed TO undermine joint U.S.-EU progress on creating a more fair international tax system.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was possible the EU order for Apple to pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes could be unfair to U.S. taxpayers because Apple might be able to claim it in the United States as a tax deduction.

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"We are concerned about a unilateral approach ... that threaten to undermine progress that we have made collaboratively with the Europeans to make the international taxation system fair," Earnest told a briefing.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by David Alexander)