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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson May 27, 2021

Tax changes aimed at offshoring included in American Jobs Plan

Before a campaign appearance in the industrial battleground state of Michigan, Joe Biden unveiled a tax plan that included disincentives to "offshoring," the practice of companies setting up operations overseas, rather than maintaining jobs in the United States, because the company expects cheaper costs or lower tax rates.

Two key elements of Biden's plan were the establishment of a 28% corporate tax rate and a 10% "offshoring penalty surtax."

As president, Biden has taken steps to advance this goal, though it remains to be seen   whether each provision will become law.

In his American Jobs Plan, an infrastructure-heavy proposal, Biden proposed raising the federal tax rate on corporations from 21% to 28%. That increase would leave the rate lower than 35%, the level it was before President Donald Trump signed a tax law that lowered the rate in 2017. 

The American Jobs Plan also includes tax provisions that focus specifically on offshoring. 

The proposal would eliminate the rule that allows U.S. companies to pay zero taxes on the first 10% of returns when they locate investments in foreign countries.

It would also provide a tax credit to "support onshoring jobs," though the proposal does not outline specifics.

The White House has been negotiating with senators for weeks to see if Democrats and Republicans can come together. Key leaders in both parties have expressed a willingness to come together on a bipartisan bill, but no deal has been struck.

If a bipartisan compromise emerges, there's no guarantee that Biden's offshoring tax proposals will make the final version.

In fact, a 28% corporate tax rate has already prompted opposition, with Republicans arguing that it would leave the United States at a competitive disadvantage. And at least one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has already said he opposes any increase beyond 25%.

It's unclear whether Biden's offshoring proposals will make a final bill. But they are part of his opening volley, which is enough to rate this promise In the Works.

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