Trump Touts Efforts to Level Playing Field for Manufacturing Industry

Melanie Arter | September 29, 2017 | 2:22pm EDT
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President Donald Trump (Screenshot of White House video)

( - In a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, President Donald Trump said Friday that his administration is working to create a level playing field for U.S. workers and companies, including taking “historic action” to protect its “manufacturing and defense industrial base” by ordering the “first-ever complete review of the manufacturing technology and supply chains.”

“We're fighting to create fair and reciprocal trade for American companies - and the word ‘reciprocal’ is so important - lifting barriers to our exports; cracking down on countries that cheat, of which there are many; and ensuring a level playing field for our great American workers and our great American companies,” he said.

“We've also taken historic action to protect our manufacturing and defense industrial base. My administration has ordered a first-ever complete review of the manufacturing technology and supply chains we need to protect our country. We cannot have national security without economic security,” Trump said.

The president also touted his efforts to remove “job killing regulations” by ordering federal managers to “systematically review” and remove those regulations.

“To further unleash American enterprise, we have taken unprecedented steps to remove job-killing regulations that sap the energy, creativity, and dynamism from our country. We are cutting regulations at a pace that has never even been thought of before -- not even thought of. This is a groundbreaking campaign and involves every department and agency across our government,” he said.

“We are requiring every federal manager to systemically review, and then remove, the regulations that destroy your jobs, hamstring your companies, and undermine your ability to compete. And we need some regulations, but we don't need 35 regulations to take care of one item. We don't need to go through nine different agencies to get something taken off. We want beautiful, fast, efficient regulation that works,” Trump said.

Trump said while manufacturing confidence is at an all-time high, the economy cannot take off like it should because of its “outdated, complex, and extremely burdensome tax code.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-American,” he said. “Our current tax code punishes companies for doing business in the United States, and encourages them to leave, and that's what's happened for so many years.  

“And that's one of the reasons, probably the prime reason, that companies are leaving our country and firing all those people. They're not bringing the jobs with them. They're giving other countries those jobs, firing all of those great people. That's stopping. It's already started to stop about nine months ago, but that's stopping, and it's stopping right now,” he said.

The U.S. is “dead last among developed nations” when it comes to the business tax, the president said. “We pay the highest tax of any nation in the world. Our rate is the least competitive rate there is. Our business tax rate is 60 percent higher than our average economic competitor.  

“Think of that, and then you say, how do you compete? Well, in many cases, you don't. Our companies leave. They go to other countries. It's a massive tax on every product made in America, giving countries like Germany, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China and Mexico -- not to mention so many others -- a massive head start over American industry,” Trump said.

“Under our framework, we will dramatically cut the business tax rate so that American companies and workers can beat our foreign competitors. We will cut the business tax rate from 35 percent, all the way down to 20 percent -- below our average competition, by far,” he said.

“And for the majority of American manufacturers that file taxes as sole proprietors or S corporations or partnerships, we will cap your top tax rate at a maximum rate -- unlike present -- of 25 percent. That's your maximum rate. This will be the lowest top marginal income tax rate for small- and medium-sized businesses in more than 80 years. The lowest in 80 years, and it will be rocket fuel for our economy,” the president said.

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