Former Treasury officials to Lew: Scrap inversion rules

A group of former Treasury Department officials are urging Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE to rethink new rules cracking down on corporate inversions.

In a new letter out Monday, a group of 18 Treasury officials spanning six presidential administrations urged the current secretary to scrap the new regulations.

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“Concerns about retaining business headquarters in the United States are well-intentioned, but this unprecedented regulatory fix by your department is not the answer,” they wrote. “It will likely make matters worse.”

The group, which is almost exclusively Republican, argued that instead of writing rules to make it harder for American companies to move headquarters for tax savings, the Obama administration should be looking to take steps to lower taxes for all companies in the United States.

“Current rules regarding corporate inversions don’t need revision,” they wrote. “Instead, we urge you to focus your attention on addressing the competitive disadvantages that are harming capital investment, employment, and economic growth in the United States.”

The group is headlined by George Shultz, who served as Treasury secretary under President Richard Nixon. Other signers include top officials from Treasury Departments under Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

The lone Democrat to sign on to the message was Curtis Hessler, who was the Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy under President Jimmy Carter.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Department unveiled new rules aimed specifically at discouraging companies from moving abroad to lower their American tax bills.

The proposed rules had an immediate impact, both in the business world and the political one. A potential inversion deal between Pfizer and Allergan was scrapped after the new rules came out.

And Republicans were quick to criticize the new rules as punishing companies while doing nothing to offer them tax relief.