The goal of the initiative is to produce bipartisan recommendations that allow American companies and employees to compete on a global scale, encourage wage and job growth, invest in innovation and R&D here in the United States, and maintain and grow a business environment that promotes America as the leader in corporate formation and governance. In the coming months, there will be more roundtables and events with policymakers, thought leaders, and business executives in order to help promote a bipartisan dialogue on tax reform.
Attention on efforts to reform U.S. international tax law has increased over the last few years. Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the administration have all released reform proposals. A common feature of these plans is making it easier for U.S. companies to bring home income earned overseas. These proposals highlight the consensus that the current U.S. system doesn’t work and puts American workers at a disadvantage compared to their foreign counterparts. This concern has been magnified by other international developments. For example, some experts believe that the new Base Erosion and Profit Sharing plan issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) is slanted against the United States.
As attention on the need for reform grows, policy makers like Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), hope to find bipartisan consensus on a proposal that addresses these concerns. At an event held at BPC late last year, Portman emphasized the importance of international tax reform for the average American, noting “tax reform is a necessity if we want to boost America’s competitive edge and create jobs.”
Following Portman, a panel of experts discussed the prospects for tax reform in a new administration. Participants included two senior advisors from the OCED Center for Tax Policy and Administration, Jesse Eggert and Robert Cline; as well as Cathy Koch, Ernst & Young; Cathy Schultz, National Foreign Trade Council; Dorothy Coleman, National Association of Manufacturers; and Gary Hufbauer, Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics.
This discussion is pertinent at a time when many large companies are moving their headquarters offshore. Furthermore, the platforms of the presidential candidates include policies to reform the U.S. international tax rules. International tax reform promises to remain a key issue in 2016 and beyond.