Just in time for holiday shopping, new China tariffs to be announced by the US. President Trump says the US will announce this week new tariffs of about 10 percent on up to $200 billion in Chinese goods, including over 1,000 products such as televisions and toys. The rate could climb back to the 25 percent level announced last month if Trump is unsatisfied with China’s response. The two countries are scheduled for trade discussions later this month. Will Trump’s announcement bring China to the bargaining table, or merely result in another round of retaliatory trade sanctions?
US multinationals are in no rush to repatriate corporate profits. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that despite President Trump’s assurance that “over $4 [trillion], but close to $5 trillion” in profits held overseas would return to the US and boost the nation’s economy, US companies are “repatriating” cautiously. After reviewing securities filings from 108 publicly traded companies, the Journal reported that about $143 billion has been repatriated so far in 2018, with about two-thirds from just two companies—Cisco Systems and Gilead Sciences. Firms reported plans to repatriate another $37 billion. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act taxes past profits that were not invested in the US or distributed to shareholders.
Lawmakers offer a bipartisan bill to clarify states’ efforts after Supreme Court’s Wayfair ruling.The bill from Reps. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Eshoo (D-CA), Duncan (R-SC) and Lofgren (D-CA) would effectively bar states from imposing collection requirements before January 1, 2019, and exempts firms from collections if they have sales of less than $10 million in a state until states agree to a congressionally-approved simplified collections process. Several states already are requiring online sellers to collect.
Tax reform in Jordan: A matter of trust? The head of Jordan's Income and Sales Tax Department says the country’s newly announced tax plan will “achieve more equitable redstribution of responsibilities and social solidarity.” It abolishes a requirement that every citizen over 18 register with the national tax department and exempts households earning less than $25,000 annually (or individuals earning less than $12,500) from filing a tax return. Critics say that the effort does nothing build trust in government after mass protests in June led to the resignation of Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki.
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