A week after President Donald Trump's shrugging response to racism had CEOs fleeing his orbit, Republican lawmakers are trying to woo back corporate America with the promise of tax reform.
GOP policymakers this week are enlisting the help of a handful of major corporations to rally support for the next item on their legislative agenda: taxes. Congressional leaders are pitching their yet-to-be-detailed tax bill to big business, local chambers of commerce and the American people in an effort to avoid a repeat of their healthcare failure earlier this year.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) on Tuesday visited United Parcel Service (UPS) in Louisville, Kentucky, to meet with employees and local businesses. On Wednesday, he will stop by the AT&T (T) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and speak to the city's local chamber of commerce.
"The tax code we have today, it's costly, it's complex, it's unfair," Brady said at UPS, quipping it's "10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news." He outlined in broad strokes his "built-for-growth" proposal.
"We believe that tax reform will stimulate the economy, we know that it will create jobs, and it will also give companies such as UPS a competitive global tax rate, which right now a foreign competitor could have up to a 10 percentage point advantage over us," said UPS CEO David Abney, who recently penned an op-ed with FedEx (FDX) CEO Frederick Smith calling for bold reforms out of Washington, before introducing Brady. "So that's why we push so hard for tax reform."
UPS spokeswoman Kara Ross said the company invites members of Congress to its facilities almost weekly and called its Louisville hub its "crown jewel."
"This is a great place for [Brady] to come and see UPS in action and talk about one of his priorities as well as one of our priorities," she said.
An AT&T spokesman said the company looks forward to hosting Brady for "this important discussion of pro-growth tax reform," noting the size of the company's workforce and investments in the U.S. economy. "As such, the event will be educational for our employees to better understand this effort's impact on job creation, economic growth and U.S. competitiveness," he said.