President Trump promised again to reform the U.S. tax code with a “big, big cut” for American corporations during an address to a joint session of Congress.
In a wide-ranging speech where the President promised “a new chapter of American greatness” supported by a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and a budget proposing one of the largest increases in defense spending ever. He also signaled anew his intention to cut corporate taxes.
“Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world,” Trump said. “My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.”
The president did not offer specifics beyond saying “it will be a big, big cut.”
Trump also promised to cut taxes for middle class Americans, adding “we must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers.” The same sentiment came out of a recent meeting with retail executives.
The President went on to briefly mention imports and exports, noting that the U.S. currently charges countries exporting their goods to America “nothing or almost nothing,” while other countries “make us pay very high tariffs and taxes.”
Trump recounted a recent meeting with executives from Harley Davidson, who told him that the company has a difficult time selling internationally because their motorcycles and goods are taxed at such a high rate.
“I believe strongly in free trade, but it also has to be fair trade,” Trump said. “It has been a long time since we had fair trade.”
“I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers be taken advantage of anymore. They have taken advantage of our country. No longer,” he added.
The President did not define the “they” that has been taking advantage of American companies and did not detail any changes to trade policies during Tuesday night’s speech. He also did not mention what has come to be known has the border adjustment tax — largely opposed by the retail industry — which would see corporations paying U.S. taxes based on their sales in the country, not where they’re headquartered.
In earlier statements aimed at bolstering his America first agenda, Trump has also vowed to impose a tariff of up to 45 percent on goods from China, which experts have argued would lead to an increase in the retail cost for a range of consumer goods.