In the 1960s, 18 of the world’s largest companies built their headquarters in America. Today, only six of the world’s 20 largest non-financial companies have chosen to be headquartered in the U.S. This alarming trend serves to highlight the problems of an antiquated U.S. corporate tax system that is driving capital investment out of America and into the hands of our foreign competitors.
We live in a worldwide marketplace; it’s time America had a world-class tax system that helps to spark new jobs and new industries across the country.
ITI advocates for tax reform that levels the international playing field. We consistently have urged the federal government to enact a tax system that makes America more competitive and a magnet for job creation and business investment. In working with Congress, ITI seeks to lower the corporate rate in a fiscally responsible manner, move to a territorial system that keeps job creators from being taxed twice on their earnings, and make permanent incentives for breakthrough research and development. These pillars will help to spark job creation and innovation throughout the U.S. economy.
The U.S. is the only large economy with both a worldwide tax system and a high corporate tax rate – in fact, the highest corporate rate in the world. Lowering the rate to 22 percent would bring the U.S. in line with foreign competitors. It also would be a major boost for small businesses across the country. Right now, American companies operating globally directly sustain more than 22 million U.S. jobs and 41 million jobs indirectly. They buy $3 billion in goods and services from small businesses here at home, with a cumulative impact of more than $1.52 trillion. Lowering the tax rate would only strengthen the partnerships between large and small businesses, putting more people to work and generating new opportunities for the country.
Shifting from a global to a territorial tax system will relieve American companies from double taxation and harmonize our tax system with the majority of the developed world. Currently, earnings by a U.S. company abroad can be taxed twice: first, by the foreign country where the sales took place; and, second, by the U.S. government when the earnings come home. This double taxation creates a disincentive for U.S. companies to bring those earnings home and invest them here. A territorial system prevents double taxation, gives the economy a much-needed boost, and puts U.S. companies on the same competitive level as many of their foreign competitors.
Finally, research-and-development innovations lead to new patents, products, and jobs. Since it was created in 1981, the R&D tax credit has a proven track record of stimulating U.S. investments, wage growth, consumption, and exports. Yet, the U.S. has allowed innovation incentives to lapse completely. It’s time to encourage breakthrough technologies to create new industries and jobs.
To secure our economic future and innovative leadership in the global marketplace, the U.S. must introduce tax policies that allow American companies to compete globally. Without such policies, America will no longer be an attractive place to start and grow a business. For these reasons, ITI urges Congress to support investment in U.S. technology and innovation by passing legislation that will improve the competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech sector, as well as U.S. businesses generally.