Obama Calls for Tax Changes to Boost US Manufacturing

Posted February 15th, 2012 at 3:30 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to enact a series of tax law changes to help boost American manufacturing and encourage companies to add jobs in the United States rather than moving them overseas.

Mr. Obama told a group of workers Wednesday at the Master Lock plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that it is “time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.”

Instead, he said, the U.S. should assist corporations that “create jobs right here in America,” saying the benefits go far beyond one company.

“For the first time since 1990, American manufacturers are creating new jobs. That's good for the companies, but it's also good up and down the supply chain, because if you're making this stuff here, that means that there are producers and suppliers in and around the area who have a better chance of selling stuff here, means the restaurant close by suddenly has more customers. Everybody benefits when manufacturing is going strong.”

He spoke on a day when the government reported that manufacturing in the country has been advancing sharply and is playing a leading role in the country's economic recovery from the recession that officially ended in mid-2009.

But the president said the tax changes could further boost the country's fortunes and encourage companies to return jobs they had created in other countries with lower labor costs.

Mr. Obama, running for a second term in November's general election, said multinational companies should have to pay a minimum tax and not be able to avoid taxation by moving jobs overseas. He said corporate taxation should be cut and that high-technology companies should receive extra tax benefits for making their products in the U.S., rather than overseas as many now do.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress have called for tax reform in the U.S., but differ sharply on the details. Little action on a major tax law overhaul — a controversial legislative undertaking — is expected this year while many members of Congress prepare for their own re-election campaigns.