Trump to CEOs: Expect a rollback of regulations and a tax on goods made outside U.S.

President Donald Trump talks to the heads of American manufacturing corporations at a meeting at the White House on Monday morning. He told the assembled CEOs to expect a dramatic cut in the number of federal regulations, and a penalty for making products outside the United States. Pool photo by Ron Sachs/UPI

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 23 (UPI) — President Donald Trump, meeting with business leaders, said he will roll back regulations and impose a tax on companies moving jobs outside the United States.

At a breakfast meeting with manufacturing CEOs, he repeated his campaign pledge that he would cut federal regulations up to 75 percent “or maybe more,” saying they have “gotten out of control.” The remaining regulations, he said, will be “just as protective of the people.” Trump also said a “very major” tax will be imposed on products made by U.S. companies in other countries. He added he intends to reduce business taxes “down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.” The corporate tax rate in the United States currently stands at 35 percent.

“What we want to do is bring manufacturing back to our country,” Trump said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t trade, because we do trade. We want to make our products here.”

Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris, who was present at the meeting, said those in attendance will return to the White House in 30 days with suggestions to improve manufacturing in the United States. Among those present was Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company, which canceled plans to invest $1.6 billion in a plant in Mexico after Trump threatened General Motors with punishment for building a Mexican plant.

There were no General Motors representatives at Monday’s meeting, but the attendance list of CEOs included Michael Dell of Dell Inc.; Jeff Fettig of Whirlpool Corporation; Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson; Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin; Klaus Kleinfeld of Arconic; Mario Longhi of United States Steel Corporation; Elon Musk of Tesla Motors; Kevin Plank of Under Armour Inc.; Mark Sutton of International Paper Co., and Wendell Weeks of Corning Inc.

The meeting came prior to Trump’s announcement that the United States would pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and seek to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.


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