Trump says he wants to ‘make taxes between countries much more fair’
President Trump on Monday said he plans to “make taxes between countries much more fair.”
Trump told a group of governors that unlike in most other countries, foreign companies can sell goods to the U.S. and face no tax. On the other hand, U.S. businesses can see high taxes on goods sold overseas.
“I want fair trade, and if we’re going to be taxed, they should be taxed at the same amount, the other countries,” he said. “And one of two things is going to happen: We’re going to make a lot of money, or the other country is going to get rid of its tax.”
It’s unclear exactly what Trump is proposing. In the past, Trump has floated tariffs on companies that outsource jobs and then sell their products in the U.S. The president also told Reuters on Thursday that the House Republicans’ plan to tax imports and exempt exports, known as border adjustment, could lead to more U.S. jobs.
White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom pointed to Trump’s comments that he wants to make trade deals fair.
“One of many policy options he is considering towards this goal is a reciprocal tax on countries that tax American imports,” she said. “During the tax reform process we are remaining open to any and all good ideas that will make the system more fair for hardworking Americans.”
During a Fox News interview that aired on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that Trump is looking at a “reciprocal tax, which is basically saying, we want to create a level playing field, so that other countries treat us the way we’re treating them.”
Mnuchin also said that the administration is studying the border-adjustment proposal “very carefully.”
“There are certain aspects that the president likes about the concept of a border adjusted tax, there are certain aspects that he’s very concerned about,” he said.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Monday that he’d let the administration describe its “reciprocal tax” proposal but said that he thinks lawmakers and the White House are headed in the same direction.
“One thing I always pay attention to is their continual fight for American workers,” Brady said.
– updated at 6:18 p.m.