FACT CHECK: Trump’s Tax Plan Actually Encourages Outsourcing

In St. Charles, Missouri, Donald Trump just blatantly lied when he said the Senate tax bill is “anti-offshoring and 100 percent worker.”  This is far from the truth – these plans charge lower tax rates on foreign profits than domestic profits, which encourages outsourcing.

Numerous economic experts, including a former White House economic adviser to President George H.W. Bush, two former National Economic Council directors, and multiple think tanks have sounded the alarm that these tax policy changes would cause more outsourcing of American jobs. The AFL-CIO ​and the United Steelworkers have also identified this threat of more offshoring as their main reason for opposing the Republican tax plans.

“Donald Trump’s entire case for his tax plan is built on lies, and the American people aren’t going to be fooled,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “The Senate Republican bill sells-out the American middle class and working families with job-killing incentives for companies to move operations overseas, breaking Trump’s number one promise to voters. It would also raise taxes on 87 million middle class households and cut Medicare by billions, all to provide new benefits to the rich.” 


Donald Trump in St. Charles, Missouri: “Simply put, our tax plan is anti-offshoring and 100 percent worker, 100 percent pro-America.”


Economic Experts

Tax Policy Co-Director William Gale (senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers during the George H.W. Bush Administration): “The plan would also move the U.S. toward a territorial tax system, under which U.S. companies would pay no U.S. taxes on their foreign income. That would encourage them to ship jobs, capital, and profits overseas.” [Brookings Institution, 10/20/2017]

Tax Policy Center Senior Fellow Steven Rosenthal: “As long as the rate structure is lower abroad than it is here, we’re going to continue to have an incentive to shift jobs, production and profits offshore.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/10/2017]

Center for American Progress Senior Director for Tax Policy Alexandra Thornton and Senior Fellow Seth Hanlon: “Such an approach would reward massive corporate tax avoidance and lose revenue needed to invest in the domestic economy—and it could hurt American workers by further incentivizing offshoring of investment and jobs.” [Center for American Progress, 9/22/2017]

Reed College Economics Professor Kimberly Clausing: “By the time all the dust is cleared, there’s a net incentive to shift income offshore and to shift activities offshore.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/10/2017]

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Report: “This would worsen the already substantial problem of corporate tax avoidance and result in more jobs and investment leaving the United States.” [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 9/18/2017]

Former National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling: “Why would Trump and Republicans in Congress support a plan designed to incentivize sending jobs overseas and transferring tax revenues from the U.S. to other countries? The answer is that such a plan would please large multinational companies, who lobbied heavily for a minimum tax on foreign earnings to be watered down. In other words, instead of a minimum tax that would discourage companies from moving jobs and shifting profits overseas, Trump and congressional Republicans have settled on one that would encourage more of both.” [The Atlantic, 11/1/2017]

Former National Economic Council Director and Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers: “Fourth, the move to a territorial system, which reduces taxes on overseas income of U.S. companies, will encourage outsourcing.” [Washington Post, 10/17/2017]

Fordham University Professor Rebecca Kysar: “Faced with a 20 percent rate at home and a 12.5 percent (or less) effective rate on income earned abroad, companies would still be encouraged to move jobs and profits offshore.” [New York Times, 11/15/2017]

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Senior Fellow and Former Chief Economist to Vice President Biden Jared Bernstein: “Republican tax plan will lead to more offshoring of U.S. jobs and a larger trade deficit” [Washington Post, 11/16/2017]  ​

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Report: “A zero tax rate on foreign profits would increase the incentive for multinationals to avoid tax by reporting their profits offshore, likely bleeding revenues and increasing deficits.  And, to the extent that it encouraged multinationals to move real investment offshore, a territorial system could put U.S. workers’ jobs and wages at risk.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/12/2017]

Labor Unions 

AFL-CIO: “This bill is a job killer. The GOP tax bill would give companies a huge tax break for outsourcing. U.S. taxes on offshore profits would be eliminated, giving big corporations even more incentive to move jobs offshore.” [AFL-CIO, 11/2/2017]

United Steelworkers: “The GOP tax bill would give huge tax cuts to big corporations that outsource jobs. This bill promotes further outsourcing by moving to a so-called “territorial” tax system that shields multinational companies from paying taxes on the factories and production they move to other countries.” [United Steelworkers, 11/13/2017]​