On Monday morning, President Trump met with 12 business executives from some of America’s largest companies—including Johnson & Johnson, Ford, Dell, U.S. Steel, and Dow Chemical—for a “listening session.” In his opening remarks, Trump told senior executives that significant cuts to both corporate taxes and regulations—promises he made for the duration of his campaign—were on the horizon. “I think we can cut regulation by 75 percent, maybe more,” he said. As for the reduction of the corporate income tax rate—currently 35 percent at the federal level—Trump said “we’re trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.”
But these pledges to reduce taxes and regulation on American businesses came with a now familiar caveat: “When you have a company here, you have a plant here,” Trump told business leaders, warning that in order to partake in a less regulated private sector, businesses would have to keep operations, and jobs, on domestic soil. “We want to make our products here,” he said.
Continuing a position he’s become well-known for on Twitter, Trump said that American companies that outsourced to foreign countries would see a “major border tax” on incoming products , “which I think is fair,” he added. Trump did not specify what that border-tax rate might be, but he believes that the incentives highlighted during today’s meetings will encourage companies to keep production in the U.S., a goal that he has stated continuously since his initial bid for the presidency.