Trump pledges to cut taxes and regulation ‘massively’ – Politico

President Donald Trump  leads a meeting with invited business leaders and members of his staff in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on January 23.

President Donald Trump leads a meeting with invited business leaders and members of his staff in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on January 23. | Getty

President Donald Trump told business leaders visiting the White House on Monday that he will cut taxes and regulation “massively,” while urging them to make their products in the United States.

“We are going to be cutting taxes massively both for the middle class and for companies — and that’s massively,” he told the executives gathered in the Roosevelt Room.

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The tax rate for companies, Trump suggested, should go down to 15 or 20 percent. And his administration thinks “we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more,” he said, arguing that existing regulations on businesses are cumbersome and unnecessary.

“We’re going to have regulation, and it’ll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now,” he said. “The problem with the regulation we have right now is that you can’t do anything.”

Trump, who campaigned against Republican orthodoxy on free trade, also sounded a protectionist note, as he did in his fiery inauguration speech on Friday, when he called on the nation’s companies to buy and hire American.

“We want to make our products here,” he said at the White House on Monday. “And if you look at some of the original great people that ran this country, you will see that they felt very strongly about that, making products. And we’re going to start making our products. And there will be advantages to companies that do indeed make their products here.”

“So we’ve seen it,” he added. “It’s going to get — it’s going to be a wave. You watch. It’s going to be a wave.”

Monday is Trump’s first full weekday as president, and he started off with his focus on a central campaign issue: trade and the anger at businesses manufacturing their products overseas.

Before and after his surprise election, Trump often took to Twitter to torch companies for manufacturing in other countries, and late last year, he took credit for several businesses’ decisions to build factories in the U.S. In one case, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, then the outgoing Indiana governor, negotiated with Carrier, offering tax breaks and other incentives for the company to keep some jobs in Indiana, rather than move them to Mexico.

Trump is also expected to sign executive orders on Monday pulling out of the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal the U.S. struck with Asian countries under former President Barack Obama, and calling for a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.

Among the business leaders to meet with Trump on Monday were Mark Fields of Ford Motor Company, Elon Musk of SpaceX, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies and representatives from Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Arconic, Dow Chemical, U.S. Steel, Under Armour, International Paper and Corning.

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