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Trump signs tax reform bill, says more products will now be made in US

Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers top individual tax rate from 39.6% to 36%, and is estimated to grant a $2,000 tax break to an average American family of four making $75,000 annually.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2017 00:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
tax reform bill,Donald TRump,US tax code
US President Donald Trump displays his signature after signing the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul plan in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.(REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump signed into law a most comprehensive rewrite of the country’s tax code at a hurriedly called White House event on Friday that was lacking in pomp and ceremony associated with such occasions.

Trump said he wanted to sign the bill quickly in time for Christmas as he had promised, of which he was reminded by TV news shows. “I'm signing it before Christmas. I said the bill would be on my desk before Christmas. And you are holding me literally to that. We did a rush job today. It's not fancy.”

A bigger, formal event is planned for in January.

The President sped through the by now-familiar highlights of the rewrite. Such as the corporate tax rate cut from from 35% to 21%. “That means that more products will be made in the USA. A lot of things are going to be happening in the USA. We're going to bring back our companies. They've already started coming back. I think they had certain confidence in me and they figured we were going to get this done. But they have already started.”

“Everything in here is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers. And I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs. Corporations are literally going wild over this.”

They have indeed. Many of them began announcing bonuses for their employees, wage hikes and billion-dollar investments soon after Trump wrapped up a celebratory event at the White House on Wednesday, marking the passage of the bill by the US Congress.

The legislation lowers top individual tax rate from 39.6% to 36%, and is estimated to grant a $2,000 tax break to an average American family of four making $75,000 annually.

Trump said at the signing the change will reflect in paychecks Americans will get on February 1. “But I think come February, when they open their checks and they see "wow! what happened? I have a lot more money in here," I think that's really going to be something very special.”

The tax cut and reforms, which is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years, is Trump’s most significant legislative accomplishment as president — and not the only one, he has insisted — which he had promised as a candidate and pursued after assuming office and pushed Republican congressional leaders to get it done.

Called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the legislation was passed in a partisan vote in the House and Senate and remains unpopular with Americans, who view it as favouring the wealthy and corporations. Most middle class Americans polled have said they believe they will be paying more.

Republican leadership argues there is a perception problem and they there is a need for party to sell the tax law to Americans. Trump doesn’t believe it needs any selling, though. “I don't think we're going to have to do much selling. I think the corporations that are giving billions and billions of dollars away to their workers -- and many more are coming -- I think that's really what's selling this maybe better than anybody could, including myself.”

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 23:59 IST