Tags: Trump Tax Reform | Silicon Valley | President Donald Trump | tax reform

Silicon Valley on Board with Trump's Tax Reform Plan

Image: Silicon Valley on Board with Trump's Tax Reform Plan

Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Saturday, 30 Sep 2017 09:20 AM

Silicon Valley companies may put themselves at odds with President Donald Trump when it comes to social issues like climate change or immigration, but on taxes, the heads of tech companies have been working diligently with the administration to help shape tax reform policies, Politico reported Saturday.

The ramifications of the changes to the tax system have broad implications to the tech industry — changes including slashing corporate tax rates and easing taxation of companies' overseas earnings.

While some have called for tech giants including Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Oracle to disengage from the Trump administration, taxes are the one topic where tech CEOs see the benefit of keeping the lines of communication open with the president.

"There are also times where we disagree with their point of view and where they want to take policy, and we speak up at that point," said Linda Moore, the CEO of TechNet, an industry advocacy group, adding, "We do want to support them on tax reform. That is a great example where: 'We're behind you 100 percent. What can we do to help you get that done?'"

Liberal activists aren't happy with this cozier relationship, claiming the companies want to be able to both blast the president's policies, but then work with him when it's to their benefit.

"Tech companies like to paint themselves as innovative, ethical and inclusive institutions. However, when it comes to tax reform, many are tempted to follow their bottom line in a corporate free-for-all," said Reem Suleiman, a senior campaigner with the progressive group SumOfUs.org. "So, Silicon Valley has a dilemma — stand up for the values it touts, or take advantage of Trump's corporate coup over our democracy."

Tech companies have employed 546 tax lobbyists in the first half of 2017, the article explained, and CEOs have also worked directly to encourage Trump to pursue policies that would favor their industries.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, defended the approach, telling Bloomberg Businessweek in June, "I feel a great responsibility as an American, as a CEO, to try to influence things in areas where we have a level of expertise."

The tech execs' approach may be working, as the proposed tax plan announced Wednesday would benefit companies with a drop in the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, preserve research and tax credits, ultimately eliminate U.S. taxes on overseas revenue and let corporations return trillions of dollars they have taken overseas in return for a one-time low tax rate.

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Silicon Valley companies may put themselves at odds with President Donald Trump when it comes to social issues like climate change or immigration, but on taxes, the heads of tech companies have been working diligently with the administration to help shape tax reform...
Silicon Valley, President Donald Trump, tax reform
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2017-20-30
Saturday, 30 Sep 2017 09:20 AM
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