By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump met with a dozen American manufacturers at the White House on Monday, pledging to slash regulations and cut corporate taxes, but warning them he would impose taxes on imports if they move production outside the country.
Trump, who took office on Friday, promised to bring manufacturing plants back to the United States – an issue he said helped him win the Nov. 8 election – and has not hesitated to call out by name companies that he thinks should bring outsourced production back home.
He asked the group of chief executives from companies including Ford, Dell Technologies, Tesla and others to make recommendations in 30 days to stimulate manufacturing, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris told reporters.
Trump, a Republican who took over from former Democratic President Barack Obama, was expected to sign executive orders later on Monday to renegotiate the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, and to formally withdraw the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The new president told the CEOs that he would like to cut corporate taxes to the 15 percent to 20 percent range, down from current statutory levels of 35 percent – a pledge that will require cooperation from the Republican-led U.S. Congress.
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