Trade

Businesses Say Foreign Payment Treatment May Breach Treaties
Provisions in House and Senate tax bills draw pushback

Ohio Rep. James B. Renacci says issues with the provisions in question must be resolved in conference negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Business advocates are warning that provisions in the House and Senate tax bills aimed at discouraging offshore migration of multinational operations could trigger trade disputes and retaliation by trading partners because they conflict with tax treaties.

The Semiconductor Industry Association, representing big chipmakers such as Intel Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., told Republican leaders in a Dec. 5 letter that it has trade-related concerns about two House and Senate proposals that target multinationals’ payments to foreign affiliates, including payments for parts and other goods used in manufacturing, royalties, interest and management fees.

Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Called ‘Provocative,’ Counterproductive
‘He’s undercutting his own efforts at peacemaking,’ Rep. Welch says

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement in May with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. On Wednesday, Trump announced he is moving the American embassy to Jerusalem despite Muslim allies urging him against it. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says his decision to buck the advice of America’s closest Muslim allies and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of a broader strategy shift needed to produce a Middle East peace pact. But some lawmakers and experts argue the president has unnecessarily undercut himself.

Trump on Wednesday formally announced he will abide by a 1995 U.S. law and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize that city as the country’s official capital. He noted that for the last 22 years, his predecessors have — despite some campaign-trail pledges to the contrary — exercised a waiver in that law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Trump’s Big Promises on To-Be-Written Tax Bill
‘We’re going to make it so that it comes out very beautifully,’ he says

Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their Tuesday policy lunch as the Capitol was awash in debate over taxes and spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even before House and Senate lawmakers begin ironing out differences in their tax overhaul bills, President Donald Trump promised working families Tuesday the final product will ensure they soon will “be making so much money you are not going to know what to do with it.”

The president had a small group of Senate Republicans to the White House for a lunch meeting about trade and his ongoing effort to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. But he could not resist talking up the still-emerging GOP tax bill.

With Levin Leaving, Dan Kildee Seeks Ways and Means Spot
Third-term Michigan Democrat spent the weekend lobbying leadership

Rep. Dan Kildee, second from left, is angling for a spot on the Ways and Means Committee now that fellow Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin, second from right, isn’t seeking re-election in 2018. Also pictured, from left, Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott and Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With longtime House Ways and Means member Sander M. Levin announcing Saturday he won’t run for re-election next year, his fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee spent the weekend lobbying leadership for a spot on the influential panel.

Kildee sent letters to each member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which is responsible for making committee assignments after the midterms.

Democrat Sander M. Levin Not Running for 19th Term
Andy Levin likely to run for his father's seat

Michigan Rep. Sander Levin was first elected in 1982. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin will not seek re-election in 2018, he announced Saturday.

“I have been incredibly honored to serve the people of Michigan in Congress and to work on so many issues important to our communities, our state, and our nation,” the 18-term Democrat said in a statement.

Analysis: Trump Opts for Campaign Rally Over Tax Bill Hard Sell
President mentions Clinton, election win and 'Little Rocket Man' during remarks

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republicans’ policy luncheon on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump went to Missouri on Wednesday ostensibly to use his bully pulpit to gin up public support for a Republican tax plan, but he turned the event into a wildly vacillating campaign-style rally.

Trump did talk taxes, urging Senate Republicans to seize a “moment of truth” later this week when they are expected to vote on an overhaul bill.”

Different Trumps Displayed on Each End of Penn. Ave.
Dems get ‘street fighter,’ GOP gets charmer in chief

President Donald Trump arrives at the Capitol on Tuesday with Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republican Senate policy lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump sometimes tries to charm others during negotiations, but often he prefers to fight. 

Both strategies were on display Tuesday, as the president and Republican leaders, even while working to shepherd a tax overhaul through the Senate, turned their attention to a massive spending measure needed to avert a government shutdown next month — a measure that will require Democratic votes to pass.

New Excise Tax Targets Big-Money Nonprofit Executives
But K Street isn’t pushing hard to remove proposal

Association lobbyists on K Street could be hit by a 20 percent excise tax on seven-figure compensation packages under the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Many of K Street’s highest-paid association lobbyists are pushing for the first major tax overhaul in 30 years, but a discrete provision in the sweeping measure may have an adverse consequence for their bottom lines.

Lawmakers have crafted a new 20 percent excise tax on seven-figure compensation packages at all tax-exempt organizations, including trade associations, foundations, universities and hospital systems. The new tax is in both the House-passed bill and the Senate draft, making it likely to remain if the overhaul becomes law.

Take Five: Neal Dunn
Florida Republican reveals that his identical twin brother is a creature of the swamp

Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., says he would be a senator if he could have any other job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Neal Dunn, 64, a Florida Republican, talks about getting “ambushed” to run for office, putting taxes before health care and what some freshmen bring to the class.

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress?

Brady Says Tax Bill Won’t Be the Last One
Trade, welfare and health care changes are on agenda next year, Ways and Means chairman says

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, looks on as the House Ways and Means Committee marks up tax reform legislation in the Longworth House Office Building on Nov. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said Tuesday that the tax overhaul Congress is considering now won’t be the last tax bill. 

“This is not the last step. We still have some work to do,” the Texas Republican said at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. He cited additional work that could be done in the retirement and financial product areas of the tax code as examples of potential future legislation.