The key to American manufacturing jobs is comprehensive tax reform


As the head of a major U.S. manufacturing company, St. Louis-based Emerson, and the chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers, I’m often asked what America needs to do to grow manufacturing jobs right here at home in the age of globalization and automation. Last week, I testified in front of Congress to give my answer: comprehensive tax reform.

Manufacturers in the United States struggle to compete under a tax system with high tax rates, arcane international tax rules, and a significant compliance burden.

Since the last major reform in 1986, manufacturers in the United States have innovated, but the U.S. tax code has not. Now, manufacturers in the United States face the highest corporate statutory tax rate among developed nations, and rates for small manufacturing businesses can be even higher. In other words, we’re operating at a competitive disadvantage relative to manufacturers in other countries.

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