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Trump Tells CEOs He Would Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 20%

Trump pitched his support for cutting the business tax rate during a private meeting in Washington Thursday with roughly 100 CEOs.

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump, is flanked by Senate Republicans as he gives remarks to the press at the National Republican Senatorial Committee building on June 13, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

By Nancy Cook and Justin Sink, Bloomberg News (TNS)

Donald Trump promised to lower the corporate tax rate to 20%, further reducing the income levy on the largest U.S. companies that he already slashed while president, according to people familiar with the remarks.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee pitched his support for cutting the business tax rate during a private meeting in Washington Thursday with roughly 100 chief executive officers of some of the biggest American companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon and Tim Cook of Apple Inc.

The current corporate tax rate is 21%, but even a small reduction represents a tax cut worth billions of dollars each year for profitable U.S. companies. Trump called the 20% figure a nice, round figure, according to two sources briefed on his comments.

Trump vowed to make permanent the Republicans’ sweeping 2017 tax law and urged renewal of key portions of the bill, including tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, which expire next year. He also advocated to exempt tipped earnings from federal taxes, an idea he first previewed at a rally on Sunday in Las Vegas.

The former president also promised the executives he would slash regulations if he won a second term. He also disparaged the permitting process for energy projects and other purposes as yet another form of regulation or taxation.

Trump offered up his thoughts on the U.S. economy during a “fireside chat” with Larry Kudlow, his former National Economic Council Director, at a quarterly meeting of CEOs hosted by Business Roundtable, a corporate advocacy group led by former White House chief-of-staff Joshua Bolten.

The former president followed a similar discussion between the group and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, who charted the economic priorities of a second term for President Joe Biden in a discussion with the corporate leaders.

Zients told the executives that Biden was committed to working with the private sector to grow the economy, and detailed the subsidies and infrastructure projects that would come on line over the next few years from legislation passed since Biden was elected.

He stressed that the president would protect pillars of the American economy—including the rule of law, the nation’s reputation on the world stage, and predictability—in an implicit contrast with some of the policies advocated by Trump, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Biden’s chief of staff was asked about immigration—saying that passing a bipartisan agreement to address undocumented migrants and grow legal immigration was a top second term priority. Responding to a question about China, he said the president did not seek a trade war but would take targeted action along with allies to protect U.S. industry. He committed to pursue permitting reform to speed infrastructure projects and pointed out that Biden wanted to address the group but was traveling to the Group of Seven meeting in Italy.

Leaders there, Zients said, were asking U.S. officials if the country would remain a player on the world stage, suggesting possible consternation over Trump’s isolationist policies.

Zients also recognized corporate executives in the room he had worked with on issues including artificial intelligence and lowering prices—shouting out Cook and Walmart Inc.’s Doug McMillon.

With assistance from Joshua Green.


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