US President Barack Obama on Tuesday night urged American business leaders to bring outsourced jobs back to the US and said companies that send jobs overseas should not get a tax break.
My message is simple. Its time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America, Obama said in his State of the Union Address to a joint session of the US Congress. Send me these tax reforms, and Ill sign them right away, he added.
Obama noted that at present companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas, while companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it, he said.
India has been one of the major destinations of outsourced jobs as US companies seek to cut costs and increase profits. Obama said no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.
From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here, he said.
A major part of Obamas third State of the Union Address was focused on the economy and aimed at Americans who will vote in the presidential election in November. The Republican Party is in the process of picking its nominee to challenge Obama.
He laid out a blueprint for an economy thats built to last - an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.
Obama pointed out that he inherited a broken economy when he took office in 2009, but that in the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. He pointed out that the U.S. auto industry, which was in the doldrums when he took office, had been revived on his watch.
Obama took a swipe at members of the Congress citing a culture of bitter partisanship. Most Americans believe Washington is broken, he said, and the divide between the US capital and the rest of the country seems to get worse every year. He didnt spare the executive branch, accusing it of being inefficient, outdated and remote.
Obama said his most immediate priority is to stop a tax increase on 160 million Americans and called for an end to tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans.
He touched on his administrations foreign policy and national security successes-the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq, the killing of Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the slowed momentum of the Taliban and the start of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies, he said. From Pakistan to Yemen, the Al-Qaida operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they cant escape the reach of the United States of America.
In a remark that won him a loud standing ovation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Obama denied that the U.S. is on the decline. Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesnt know what theyre talking about, he said.