U.S. manufacturing, including the steel industry, faces significant challenges to its international competitiveness in part due to a domestic tax code that imposes the highest corporate tax rate among developed nations. The steel industry is a critical job engine in the United States, directly and indirectly supporting nearly 1 million jobs. Every one job in the American steel industry supports seven jobs in the U.S. economy.
A number of members of Congress have been promoting corporate tax reform that would lower the statutory tax rate while also eliminating various tax credits and deductions to broaden the tax base. For any rewrite of the tax code to produce real economic growth and jobs, it cannot simply be a statutory rate reduction that results in an increase in the effective tax rate on manufacturing and, therefore, triggers a redistribution of wealth from manufacturers to other sectors of the economy.
Congress must support tax reform proposals that make the tax code simpler and more competitive globally, but also avoid a net tax increase on U.S. manufacturing. They also must maintain certain provisions that are critical for continued investment in U.S. manufacturing plants and equipment. Tax reform needs to put manufacturing -- including the steel industry in Pennsylvania and elsewhere -- first.
THOMAS J. GIBSON
President and CEO, American Iron and Steel Institute