Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attacked President Trump’s record on retaining domestic jobs Wednesday and announced a series of tax incentives — and disincentives — to keep companies from moving operations offshore.
Biden said Trump has “failed to deliver results for American workers. … He’s allowed companies receiving federal contracts – paid for with taxpayer dollars – to offshore at higher rates.” Biden also outlined a plan to impose high taxes on U.S. companies that move jobs to other countries and his intention to use executive action within a week of taking office to ensure that federal projects use domestically produced materials and components.
Biden’s message emphasized the prevalence of loopholes and offshore opportunities in what he characterized as “the Trump corporate giveaway tax plan,” which he said allows large corporations to pay few taxes or no taxes by moving jobs overseas and taking advantage of tax havens.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%.
A study by the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy found at least 60 companies paying no taxes in 2018, double the number before the 2017 tax breaks took effect. IBM had an effective tax rate of -68%, with the federal government subsidizing the company to the tune of $342 million, the analysis indicated. The crown, however, went to media giant Gannett, with an astounding -164% tax rate. With their smaller profits, however, they only took $11 million.
Biden alleged, U.S. manufacturing was in recession even before COVID-19 hit, and trade deficits with China and Mexico were higher than before Trump rewrote trade agreements.
Biden is leaned heavily on his tax plan in remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday to woo voters in Michigan, a key swing state that has lost much of its automotive business to overseas manufacturers. His speech in Macomb County, a region that Trump took by more than 10% in 2016, attacked Trump’s international economic policy.
Trump attacked Biden’s record in a press conference Monday, saying: “Biden wants to surrender our country to the virus, he wants to surrender our families to the violent left-wing mob, and he wants to surrender our jobs to China — our jobs and our economic wellbeing. … He spent 47 years sending American jobs to China, to Mexico, and to other countries, while collecting millions of dollars in campaign and super PAC contributions from global corporations that got rich by making American workers poor.”