April 5, 2021

U.S. Chamber and NAW Urge Administration to Pursue Bipartisan Bill

President Joe Biden last week announced The American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion proposal that would fund major infrastructure improvements across the country but also place higher tax rates on corporations.

A comprehensive explanation of the proposal may be found here. Highlights include:

  • $651 billion in transportation infrastructure to modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets and to upgrade thousands of bridges.
  • $85 billion to upgrade the nation’s public transit systems
  • $80 toward Amtrack’s maintenance and repair backlog
  • $42 billion for upgrades and modernization to airports, ports, and waterways
  • $100 billion build high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage
  • $100 billion to build a more resilient electric transmission system
  • $180 billion to advance U.S. leadership in critical technologies and upgrade the country’s research infrastructure
  • $50 billion to strengthen manufacturing supply chains for critical goods
  • $50 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research
  • $52 billion for capital access programs geared toward domestic manufacturers, with a focus on supporting rural manufacturing and clean energy
  • $31 billion for programs that give small businesses access to credit, venture capital, and R&D dollars, including funding for community-based small business incubators and innovation hubs

To fully fund the plan, Biden called for several corporate tax changes that are designed to raise more than $2 trillion over the next 15 years. Those measures include:

  • Raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent
  • Discourage offshoring by increasing the minimum tax on multinational U.S. corporations to 21 percent on a country-by-country basis
  • Enact a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations’ book income
  • Increased enforcement of the tax code against corporations

In response to the unveiling of the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley released the following statement:

“We need a big and bold program to modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and we applaud the Biden administration for making infrastructure a top priority. However, we believe the proposal is dangerously misguided when it comes to how to pay for infrastructure. Properly done, a major investment in infrastructure today is an investment in the future, and like a new home, should be paid for over time – say 30 years – by the users who benefit from the investment. We strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration which will slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally – the exact opposite of the goals of the infrastructure plan.

“The hard work of achieving bipartisan consensus is the best and only realistic path to enactment of historic infrastructure legislation,” Bradley continued. “While today’s action, coupled with continued efforts to find consensus from bipartisan groups in both the House and Senate is encouraging and a start in a long process, we urge both Democrats and Republicans to avoid further partisan gridlock and provide productive solutions to get an infrastructure bill passed this year.”

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors echoed concerns of how the corporate tax changes included in the proposal would harm businesses.

“Investing in America’s future is critical for the wholesale distribution industry, but it can’t be done on the backs of American small businesses,” NAW President and CEO Eric Hoplin said in a statement. “Modernizing our infrastructure and making it work for 21st century commerce would help the supply chain more efficiently move goods and materials to end users across the country. The Biden administration cannot improve the country’s infrastructure by increasing taxes on small businesses and wholesaler-distributors that have spent the past year fighting to operate safely, move products to customers, and keep their businesses alive during an unprecedented pandemic. With transportation and infrastructure being historically bipartisan issues, we urge Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work with the White House, put aside partisan agendas, and enact a long-overdue infrastructure bill to ensure that the economy continues to recover and businesses can continue to create needed jobs.”