- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2017

About two-thirds of U.S. manufacturers say they are more likely to expand their businesses if Congress approves President Trump’s tax-reform plan, according to a new survey released Friday.

The quarterly survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that 64 percent of employers would expand, 57 percent would hire more workers and 52 percent would raise wages and benefits under the GOP’s proposal.

“Manufacturers overwhelmingly agree on the path forward on tax reform, and it is a path that leads to more jobs,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, who cited “record-level optimism” among manufacturers.

The president and GOP congressional leaders unveiled the plan Wednesday, calling for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, and full and immediate expensing of business investments, among other provisions.

The plan would collapse the current seven personal income-tax brackets to three — 12, 25 and 35 percent — and nearly double the standard deduction.

Manufacturers at a NAM roundtable discussion in Washington, where Mr. Trump was speaking Friday, expressed enthusiasm for the plan.

“The big winner is going to be the worker,” said Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore. “We’re going to have a tremendous amount of overtime, and we’re going to hire new workers. Let’s get it done. It’s showtime.”

He also predicted that U.S. companies would bring back $4 trillion in profits from overseas, providing “a sugar rush into our economy.”

Rich Gimmel, chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky, said the proposal will allow U.S. manufacturers to “create more taxpayers” through increased hiring.

“We’re seeing a huge surge of optimism among manufacturers,” Mr. Gimmel said. “The government is going to quit stacking things against us in terms of our being globally competitive. It gives us the opportunity to put more money into our businesses. We feel this is a great investment for our country.”

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

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