- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2017

With his economic agenda hanging in the balance, President Trump launched a series of events Monday to promote U.S. manufacturing, while a coalition of major employers pressured Congress to complete the president’s goal of cutting corporate taxes this year.

Mr. Trump is holding a “Made in America” event at the White House to showcase products manufactured at home, the start of a mid-summer push to on trade and competitiveness ahead of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

“Much will be accomplished this week on trade, the military and security!” the president said on Twitter.

At the same time, a group of large U.S. companies ranging from Boeing to Johnson & Johnson urged the Senate Finance Committee Monday to take up comprehensive tax reform this year. The American Made Coalition called for a cut in the corporate tax rate of 35 percent to make the U.S. more competitive with other countries, a “territorial tax system” that encourages businesses to re-invest foreign earnings in the U.S., and making reforms permanent.

“Our coalition members would be disappointed if Washington squanders this once-in-a-generation opportunity by abandoning real reform to instead enact a temporary rate cut or some other half-measure that fails to fix what is really broken in our tax code,” the group said in a letter.

Mr. Trump has been calling for tax reform this year, including cuts in corporate and individual tax rates, to boost jobs and wages. But the plan has been stalled as Congress struggles to complete legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, which the administration views as essential to make room for a comprehensive tax overhaul.

As the president promotes products made in the U.S., the White House is also trying to fend off criticism that Trump-branded products, including merchandise from the line of presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, are typically made overseas.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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