Cohn: CEOs are the 'most excited group' about GOP tax plan

Cohn: CEOs are the 'most excited group' about GOP tax plan
© Greg Nash

White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said Thursday that U.S. corporate executives were the “most excited” people about the House GOP tax plan.

Cohn told CNBC that American CEOs are thrilled about the Republican plan to slash taxes for businesses, insisting the plan would make the U.S. more competitive with international corporations.

“The most excited group out there are big CEOs about our tax plan,” said Cohn, who was COO of Goldman Sachs before joining the White House.

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“They all tell me how excited they are to get a tax plan that makes the United States competitive, makes it so they can grow their business domestically, makes it so they can actually pay wages here.”

The tax overhaul bill released by House Republicans last week cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and sets up a new 25 percent rate for pass-through businesses.

Republican leaders have insisted that cutting corporate tax rates would allow U.S. companies to expand, hire more workers and boost wages, spurring economic growth.

“They borrow money at home to expand if they want to expand at home, but their real earnings are trapped offshore," Cohn said. “If companies were making that money onshore, they'd be paying their labor, they'd be paying their workers more money.”

“So, our biggest supporters are really the Business Roundtable,” said Cohn, referring to the powerful group of major U.S. executives that’s thrown millions of dollars behind ads supporting the GOP tax bill.