Head of Council on Competitiveness says foreign counterparts, "Are making fun of the United States now because of our corporate tax structure."

March 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Thursday convened a hearing to examine specific steps that can be taken to create new jobs, as well as to bring jobs back to the United States from abroad.  Witnesses repeatedly testified that unfair taxes and burdensome regulations are stifling economic growth. 

"After a record 20 straight months of unemployment above 9 percent, it's time to finally free American innovation and ingenuity - long held hostage by a regulatory regime which is as great a threat to our prosperity as any foreign regime.  Today, U.S. businesses are holding tight onto more than $1.8 trillion in cash reserves.  Let's give them a reason to invest that money in America's future," said Chairman Bono Mack. 

Bono Mack continued, "We can do that by, among other things, ensuring regulatory fairness.  Rules and regulations imposed by Washington cost Americans more than $1.75 trillion each year.  We need to place an immediate moratorium on any job-killing regulations and establish a more fair and transparent review process.  The way forward is clear: creating new jobs and preserving existing jobs here at home should be our top priority.  It will strengthen our economy, reduce the deficit, enhance U.S. competiveness and restore pride in "˜Made in America.'"

Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness testified that her foreign counterparts have ridiculed the United States tax code as it hinders economic growth.  Watch the video HERE.

Drew Greenblatt, president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland, further elaborated how the U.S. tax code is hampering competiveness for American companies such as his own small business. Greenblatt stated, "We need a national tax climate that does not place manufacturers in the United States at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace. A pro-manufacturing tax policy must first acknowledge that when Congress raises taxes, it makes manufacturers in the U.S. less competitive.  Marlin Steel's tax rate is higher than its global trading partners like Canada, where companies pay perhaps half as much in taxes - 18 percent compared to our approximately 40 percent."

Greenblatt continued, "The United States now imposes the highest or second-highest statutory corporate income tax in the world among developed nations, even as our competitors reduce their rates to improve their economic climate. Congress must reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent or lower without imposing offsetting tax increases."

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey also warned about the negative impact regulations were having on economic growth.  Cummiskey stated, "The corporate world moves quickly, and we need to be able to match that speed. The federal regulatory environment is often quite challenging in that respect. For instance, it can take a minimum of nine months to get an air permit (as it did with Kia), and longer than that if a company locates in a non-attainment area. Our agency has an engineer on contract to help companies with the permitting processes, but we may well be an exception. Overall, the slow moving regulatory environment makes our country less competitive in the global marketplace.  Because one-size-fits-all federal mandates are not always helpful to states, we suggest allowing states to adopt regulatory procedures that work best for them."

Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton also expressed concern with burdensome government red tape, stating, "Whether it is the regulations of the EPA, the FCC, the Dodd Frank reform, or the new healthcare law, free enterprise has been dealt a hand of added expense and uncertainty that is becoming insurmountable.  If we cannot lower these burdens, the unfortunate consequence will be an environment that remains hostile to growth. And if the cost of doing business in this country is a deterrent, investment will continue to flow elsewhere.  That is not a prescription for enabling job growth."

###