A taxing consideration

Looking at U.S. manufacturing industries since 1975—with imports exceeding exports in many areas and a continuing account deficit—it's clear that the past few years' downturn is more than just a cyclical happenstance. A definite economic shift is underway. It can be argued that this shift parallels one that occurred in the mid-19th century, as the economy shifted from an agrarian ...

12/01/2003


Looking at U.S. manufacturing industries since 1975—with imports exceeding exports in many areas and a continuing account deficit—it's clear that the past few years' downturn is more than just a cyclical happenstance. A definite economic shift is underway.

It can be argued that this shift parallels one that occurred in the mid-19thcentury, as the economy shifted from an agrarian to an industrial base, and that people will adjust over time as they always have before. An article in the Thunderbird International Business Review , "An Analysis of the Global Position of U.S. Manufacturing," by Michael R. Czinkota of Georgetown University, illustrates this point well: "In the mid-1800s, about 68% of the U.S. employment was in the agricultural sector. Manufacturing accounted for only 17% of employment. By 2001, agriculture accounted for only 1.5% of employment. But 66% of the work-eligible population does not consist of unemployed farmers."

Beyond issues of correcting trade deficits, manufacturing remains important as a means of domestically producing goods we need and growing the knowledge that leads to such production ability. Although manufacturing's place in our lives has changed drastically over the past 30 years, its overall health is critical to the sustainability not just of our economy, but our way of life.

With this in mind, perhaps you've heard about the "Invest in the U.S.A. Act of 2003"—a proposal by the Homeland Investment Coalition (an organization of more than 60 companies and associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, Honeywell, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, and Texas Instruments. For a company list and related legislation, see this column online). The Coalition's proposal would allow companies to bring dollars invested overseas back to the U.S. subject to, for a one-year period, a 5.25% toll tax on dividends in excess of normal distributions from foreign subsidiaries. Normally, these dollars would be subjected to the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate, which is why much of this money remains overseas.

It is unlikely that manufacturing will dominate the U.S. economy as it did for the first three-quarters of the 20thcentury. To help regain vitality during this time of economic shift, passage of the terms in the "Invest in the U.S.A. Act of 2003" could go a long way toward bolstering manufacturing companies and their workers. Newhouse News Service reports that a study by JP Morgan estimates that up to $300 billion could be repatriated under this proposal. Of that amount, about $100 billion could move into the economy over two years, potentially creating 400,000 to 500,000 jobs.

In my estimation, this would be a much better use of these dollars than taxing them at a higher rate to help provide extended unemployment benefits.

dgreenfield@reedbusiness.com

Online extra

Homeland Investment Coalition
The Homeland Investment Coalition, as of Nov. 13, 2003, consisted of the following companies and associations:

3M
Advanced Energy Industries
Advanced Micro Devices
Alpharma
Alvaka Networks
American Electronics Association
Apple Computer
Autodesk
BEA Systems
BioMEMS Technologies
Boston Scientific
BMC Software
Cadence Design Systems
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Corning
Cummins
Dell
DuPont Photomasks
EDS
Eeparts
Eli Lilly
EFJ
EMS Technologies
Frequency Electronics
GM Nameplate
Guidant
Hewlett-Packard
Honeywell
Information Technology Association of America
Information Technology Industry Council
Intel
Johnson & Johnson
Kerr McGee
MAPICS
Masimo
Medical Device Manufacturers Association
National Association of Manufacturers
National Semiconductor
Nuera Communications
Nike
Oracle
Pacific Northwest International Trade Association
Pharmacia
PhRMA
Plantronics
Printronix
Qsent
QUALCOMM
Sara Lee
Schering-Plough
Scientific Technologies
Semiconductor Industry Association
SGI
Software Finance and Tax Executives Council
Solectron
Sun Microsystems
TechNet
Technitrol
Texas Instruments
United Technologies
Veritas Software
Wyeth
Xilinx

The two pieces of legislation that lead to the development of the Homeland Investment Coalition are:

  • H.R. 1162, the “Invest in America Act of 2003” was introduced March 6, 2003, and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The official title of the bill, as introduced, is: “To amend the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for certain distributions from a controlled foreign corporation to encourage companies to invest in worker hiring and training, infrastructure investments, capital investments, financial stabilization of the company, and research and development.” Sponsor of the bill is Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and it has 28 cosponsors.

  • S.596, referred to as the “Invest in the U.S.A. Act of 2003” was introduced March 11, 2003, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. The official title of the bill, as introduced, is: “A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage the investment of foreign earnings within the United States for productive business investments and job creation. Sponsor of this bill is John E. Ensign (R-NV) and it has 23 cosponsors.

For more information on either bill, click here and input the bill numbers listed above.

According to a report at TwinCities.com , The Homeland Investment Coalition proposal is now “part of the larger Jumpstart bill, a package of tax cuts that repeals the controversial‘foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income exclusion tax haven regimes’ ... and offers billions in corporate tax breaks to soften the blow.”


Much more discussion and political wrangling await this bill and the Coalition’s proposal when Congress reconvenes in 2004.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me