WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement during a Ways and Means hearing on the 2016 global tax environment.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“America needs a new 21st Century tax code that’s built for growth: growing families’ paychecks, growing local businesses and growing America’s economy.
“That’s why we’re holding this hearing today about international tax reform – a critical component of our comprehensive plan to overhaul our tax system from top to bottom.
“Global events demonstrate how it is more important than ever that Congress make progress now on reforming our broken tax code.
“When Americans go online or turn on the television they regularly learn of another major American job creator that is moving their headquarters to another country. In the first two months of this year we’ve already heard of three major American companies that have decided they must move overseas.
“This affected me – and my constituents – personally when a local company located a few miles from my home in Texas recently announced that it was being acquired by a foreign company and was moving its headquarters to Canada.
“Unfortunately, this story is not unique.
“And usually every one of these moves results in fewer American jobs, fewer small business opportunities and weaker economic growth. For the millions of people who remain unemployed or underemployed, these developments are more proof that America’s struggling economy isn’t working for them.
“We are holding this hearing today so we can talk about the real root of this issue – and determine the best path forward to save jobs and protect American workers.
“As Chairman of the Committee, I look forward to hearing from witnesses and members about the impact of the current U.S. tax system, including our exorbitant corporate tax rate.
“I also want to hear from you about the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project. American companies competing overseas are rightly concerned that the BEPS project will result in higher foreign taxes, higher compliance costs, and double taxation. As countries around the world incorporate the BEPS ideas into their tax systems, many more companies could be forced to restructure their business operations and move U.S. activities, such as research and development, overseas.
“And I’d appreciate your thoughts on the European Union’s state aid investigations that threaten to subject American businesses to retroactive taxes going back ten years. To many, it appears to be a naked revenue grab at the expense of U.S. companies and taxpayers.
“Each of these factors is making it harder for our businesses, and the hard-working Americans they employ, to compete successfully. The end result is driving American job creators to take their jobs and their investments to other countries.
“Instead of attacking American companies, tweaking the tax code or publicly wringing its hands, Congress should fix our broken tax code and stand strong against global developments that hurt our workers.
“On this side of the aisle we are committed to delivering pro-growth tax reform that includes real, pro-growth changes to our international tax system. I invite our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join us. I believe there can be bi-partisan support for acting now to permanently lower America’s tax gate so that the estimated $2 trillion in stranded U.S. profits can flow back into America to be invested in new jobs, research and growth.
“Our hearing today is another step in our plan to bring America’s tax code into the 21st Century and protect American workers and their jobs.
“The American people want leadership on this issue – and this Committee will deliver it.
“I thank all of our witnesses for joining us today, and I look forward to your testimony.”