Business World

Monday 22 January 2018

Obama says his tax deal will create 'millions of US jobs'

US President Barack Obama. Photo: Getty Images
US President Barack Obama. Photo: Getty Images

Roger Runningen

President Barack Obama said the compromise plan on taxes he has agreed to with congressional Republicans will give businesses incentives to grow and hire and help create "millions of jobs."

"If this framework fails, the reverse is true," Obama said at the start of a meeting with his export council in Washington.

The president is seeking to overcome the resistance of Democrats in Congress to the deal, which would extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years, provide a one-year cut in the payroll tax and extend aid for the long-term unemployed.

Obama also said his focus on increasing US exports, including a recently concluded trade agreement with South Korea will boost hiring in the US.

"The world wants products made in America," he said.

He announced publication of rules that would ease export controls for technology items with military uses on sales to 37 allies, including Canada, Japan, Germany and France.

Also yesterday President Obama met JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the White House to discuss ways the administration and business community can work together on economic growth, an administration official said.

The Oval Office meeting with Dimon was part of the president's attempts to reach out to US businesses.

Also as part of that effort, Shelly Lazarus, chairman of advertising agency Ogilvy Group, met with senior White Houyse adviser Valerie Jarrett, Obama's liaison to the business community.

Joe Evangelisti, a JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment.

Obama is seeking to rebuild relationships with the US business community in response to criticism from some executives and business groups, such as the US Chamber of Commerce, of administration initiatives to overhaul the health-care system and enact new financial regulations.

Over the last week the president has announced a series of measures, including a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which have the support of the business community.

"The president has shown a willingness to learn," Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon , chairman of the Business Roundtable, said at a news conference in Washington. "The things that occurred in the past couple of days are extraordinary."

Obama announced a deal with South Korea on December 3 that would allow a free-trade agreement between the two nations to proceed. Preserving the decade-old tax rates and passing long-stalled trade deals have been among demands of corporate advocates such as the Business Roundtable.

Seidenberg issued a list of complaints against Obama and Democrats in Washington six months ago, saying proposals to raise corporate taxes and impose environmental regulations threatened to undercut companies' ability to expand and hire.

The Business Roundtable, a Washington-based group, released a 'Roadmap for Growth' that called for changes to corporate tax policy, a cut in spending and revisions in new financial rules and health-care legislation. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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