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Trump teases tax reform within ‘weeks’

Trump said that he would roll out ideas aimed at ‘lowering the overall tax burden of American businesses’

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US President Donald Trump suggested that corporate tax reform could come within “weeks” Thursday, teasing a policy that could have significant implications for trade and the economy. Trump said that he would roll out ideas aimed at “lowering the overall tax burden of American businesses.”

“Over the next two or three weeks,” he said, there would be an announcement that would be “phenomenal in terms of tax.” Republicans in Congress have been mulling a package of corporate tax cuts that would be paid for by higher import tariffs. Experts say the tariffs risk sparking retaliatory measures from trading partners in Europe and beyond.

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The Peterson Institute for International Economics has estimated that retaliatory tariffs from China, Europe, Mexico, Canada and Japan could be worth up to $220 billion. Privately some officials worry that such a vast dispute could prompt Trump to pull out of the World Trade Organization -- which arbitrates such disputes.

“We’re facing competition from abroad because of our tax code,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer. “It favors companies from not wanting to stay and the president recognizes that,” he said. “What he wants to do is create a tax climate that not only keeps jobs here but incentivizes companies to want to come here, to grow here to create jobs here. To bring their profits back here.”