WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump pitched his tax reform plan to a top manufacturing group on Friday, giving his second speech of the week pushing the new Republican legislative priority.
Trump’s speech to the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington largely followed the speech he gave in Indianapolis on Wednesday unveiling the new tax reform framework and hailing it as a historic tax cut that will help all Americans and encourage businesses to keep jobs in the United States.
“My administration is working every day to lift the burdens on our companies and on our workers so that you can thrive, compete, and grow,” the president said. “And at the very center of that plan is a giant, beautiful, massive — the biggest ever in our country — tax cut.”
After detailing the positive steps the economy has taken in recent months, Trump said on Friday the tax reform package is a key part of ensuring those steps continue.
“America is finally back on the right track but our country and our economy cannot take off like they should unless we transform America’s outdated, complex and extremely burdensome tax code,” Trump said. “It is a burden on our country.”
Though Trump detailed the entire framework the White House unveiled with congressional Republicans this week, he focused more heavily on Friday on specific changes to the business code, including the 15 point cut in the corporate tax rate and the change in how international companies are taxed.
Trump said the move to a so-called territorial system, in which companies are taxed based on revenues from inside a country’s borders, will make the United States a more competitive place for businesses to operate. He also hailed a one-time tax on money currently held overseas as an incentive for companies to keep their business in the country rather than moving them to other countries with lower rates.
“For too long our tax code has incentivized companies to leave our country in search of lower tax rates,” Trump said “My administration rejects the offshoring model and we have embraced a new model. It’s called the American model.”
Republicans have taken up tax reform as their new legislative priority following the multiple collapses of their attempts to repeal and replace the federal health care law during the first months of Trump’s administration. Though he was relatively quiet during the early stages of the health care push, Trump’s initial involvement in tax reform has been more conspicuous.
In addition to lowering the corporate rate, the tax framework compresses the seven current tax brackets into three, reducing the top rate by four points to 35 percent and slightly raising the lowest rate to 12 percent. The plan also calls for an increase in the standard deduction and repeals the estate tax.