Trump Tells Manufacturers He’ll Cut Regulations and Taxes, Renegotiate NAFTA

Ten high-profile manufacturing executives, including Ford CEO Mark Fields and Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk, visited the White House today, where they were informed by President Donald Trump today that he would dramatically reduce corporate taxation and scale down regulations by as much as seventy-five percent.

Trump promised the return of manufacturing plants and jobs within the United States during his campaign. Making it more appetizing for specific companies to do so is an essential aspect of that plan, however, the new President also issued the caveat that companies choosing to invest outside of American soil would have to pay for it. 

“We are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product when it comes in,” Trump said. “A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States, and build some factory someplace else, and then thinks that that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States, that’s not going to happen.”

He also said the the companies that operate within the U.S. would enjoy a corporate tax rate of 15 to 20 percent — down from the current statutory thirty-five percent, pending Congressional approval. However, the President claimed that numerous business leaders have explained to him that governmental regulations were a much larger source of concern.

“We’re going to be cutting regulation massively,” Trump told reporters from the White House’s Roosevelt Room. “When you want to expand your plant, or when Mark [Fields] wants to come in and build a big massive plant, or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special, you’re going to have your approvals really fast.”

Democrats and environmental groups have voiced concern over Trump’s plans to demolish the Obama administration green initiatives — threatening to cripple the EPA, abandon the Paris climate accords, and shy away from other regulatory pledges.

The President is also expected to sign an executive order today stating his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Earlier today, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement linking 12 countries in the Pacific Rim. He will immediately begin individual trade negotiations with the member countries.

Ann Arbor’s Center for Automotive Research said in a statement from earlier this month that pulling out of NAFTA could undo automotive jobs created since the end of the Great Recession. “Counter to the incoming Trump administration’s goal of creating manufacturing jobs, the withdrawal from NAFTA or the implementation of punitive tariffs could result in the loss of 31,000 U.S. jobs,” the research firm claimed.

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