Page One, Washington Times, “Bill raises cost of global business“:
With their usual sources for money drying up, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have started tapping the wallets of foreign workers and international businesses to pay for their pre-election wish list – moves that have put them at odds with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Indian government and possibly the World Trade Organization.
On Thursday, Congress passed a spending bill that raises visa fees on companies that bring in a large number of foreign workers, and earlier this week President Obama signed a second spending package that raises $10 billion in additional taxes on multinational companies that call the U.S. home.
The article ends with the remarks by U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) from the House debate Tuesday, citing the National Association of Manufacturers’ “Key Vote” letter on H.R. 1586, objecting to the $9.6 billion in tax increases the legislation imposes on U.S. businesses with overseas operations:
“Most of these [changes] have never been the subject of any committee hearing or markup,” said Rep. Dave Camp, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. Camp said the changes could make sense as part of a larger reform of the tax code to make U.S. firms more competitive in the global marketplace.
“But we never got the opportunity to hear from American employers or to offer any amendments,” he said.
Right. Camp was reinforcing the point made in the NAM’s letter:
We are disappointed that many of the legislation’s proposed tax increases have not been adequately scrutinized during congressional hearings. In many cases, taxpayers have relied on these longstanding tax provisions in structuring their businesses. Changing the rules without fair and adequate hearings will cost in terms of jobs, investment and manufacturers’ ability to compete overseas.
Manufacturers believe strongly that changes to our international tax laws should be considered in the broader context of tax reform that makes the United States more competitive – not as “pay fors” for unrelated policy initiatives. Moreover, targeting some international tax law changes in advance of the tax reform debate would make the goal of pro-growth, pro-competitiveness reform that much more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
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