Mnuchin meets with agriculture groups on tax reform

Mnuchin meets with agriculture groups on tax reform
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with representatives of agriculture groups at the White House on Tuesday as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to get feedback on tax reform.

“Tax reform is one of our most important areas of focus,” Mnuchin said in brief remarks at the beginning of the meeting. He added that the administration is “determined to get this done this year.”

The meeting was one of several tax reform listening sessions that Mnuchin and White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn have been holding with lawmakers and industry groups over the last several months. The administration officials have also met with groups in the transportation, technology and energy sectors, and with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Cohn and Mnuchin are also meeting regularly with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and the chairmen of the tax-writing committees to hash out a tax reform framework they can all support. The next meeting of this group is expected to take place on Wednesday.

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Participants at Tuesday’s meeting included representatives from the National Corn Growers Association, the Western Growers Association and the National Pork Producers Council.

One top tax priority for agriculture groups is repealing the estate tax. Both the White House and congressional Republicans have said they plan to include estate-tax repeal as part of tax reform.

Another priority for the agriculture industry is maintaining the deduction for businesses’ interest expenses.

Mnuchin has said the administration would prefer to keep the interest deduction, but a tax plan House Republicans released last year would eliminate it.

In recent weeks, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyLawmakers, businesses await guidance on tax law On The Money: Trump imposes B in tariffs on China | China blasts 'fickle' Trump, promises payback | Trump to name consumer bureau director next week Trump announces tariffs on billion in Chinese goods MORE (R-Texas) has said he plans to keep the interest deduction for small businesses.