Calling retailers “the cornerstone of American communities large and small,” Vice President Mike Pence promised an audience at the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday that “every business represented here will benefit from the historic accomplishments that lie ahead.”
Addressing a crowd of 200 retailers at the NRF’s “Retail Advocates Summit” at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Pence offered lots of promises but few specifics, stating, “Rest assured, this president is going to work with this Congress this year and we are going to pass the largest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan.”
Pence began by urging the retailers to support the repeal of Obamacare, though he acknowledged the Senate does not have a consensus to repeal and replace it. He then reiterated the Trump agenda for tax cuts, revising the tax code, deregulation and improving the infrastructure. If all those promises come true, retailers stand to gain.
“The truth is America’s tax code is one of the biggest barriers to success for working families and job creators like all of you. I love that old line that says the internal revenue code is twice as long as the Bible, with none of the good news. We are going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses and family farms, simplify the tax code by cutting seven brackets down to three, eliminate the alternative minimum tax. We will make the code flatter, fairer and simpler for everyone.”
In addition, “We are going to repeal death taxes once and for all. Death will no longer be a taxable event.”
He said America’s corporate tax rate is “one of the highest in the developed world,” adding, “Our outdated system of worldwide taxation literally penalizes companies for being incorporated in America.” He said President Trump’s plan is to “slash the business tax rate to 15 percent and cut taxes on trillions of dollars locked overseas so American companies can invest those dollars in American workers, American jobs and America’s future.”
“I encourage you to let your voice be heard as you reach out to our elected representatives,” Pence urged the crowd, which included Karen Katz, chief executive officer of the Neiman Marcus Group; and Chris Baldwin, ceo of BJ’s Wholesale Club. NRF’s board of directors will be meeting Wednesday and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta will address the group.
Pence said President Trump has been fighting to restore jobs and prosperity from the very first day he took office, and has saved businesses and families up to $18 billion in red tape costs by getting rid of regulations.
He also said “our administration is rolling back the joint employer rule” which the Obama Administration expanded, and that “plans are underway for a historic infrastructure build.”
“The Senate should vote to repeal Obamacare now and replace later. Inaction is not an option. Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job and Congress needs to do their job now. We will rescue the American people from the disastrous consequences of Obamacare.”
He then noted that it’s “stunning” that one in four American jobs depend on the retail industry and that American retailers are “really model corporate citizens. You can’t hardly go to a little league baseball game or a charity function without seeing your banners hanging or hearing about your sponsorship. I assure you the president knows as retail goes, so goes America.”