Business Leaders Push 'Three Ts' on Capitol Hill

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Indiana Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar is calling on Indiana's Congressional delegation to "act boldly" on issues pertaining to trade, transportation infrastructure and tax reform. He is among a group of business leaders in the nation's capital today to meet with Indiana lawmakers. Brinegar is pushing for action to promote "free and open trade," which he says is crucial for manufacturing-intensive states like Indiana, and to call on tax reform, including a permanent end to the medical device tax.

Brinegar says the United States has been "out-hustled" in recent years by countries like Mexico in establishing trade agreements. He says that makes manufacturing cheaper in those countries, leading to moves like Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) relocating manufacturing operations from Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis and Huntington-based United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. to Mexico. 

On the tax front, Brinegar says he wants to deliver the message to Indiana's delegation that "You did good last year," but says bolder action is necessary. He says, while a two-year moratorium on the medical device tax, which impacts Indiana's prominent medical technology and orthopedic industries, is a step in the right direction, he wants to see it repealed entirely.

In addition, Brinegar says a 35 percent corporate tax rate "is killing us." He contends it causes investment to go elsewhere that would otherwise have gone to the United states, and also encourages companies that do business in other countries not to bring profits back to the United States.

The group will meet with Indiana's U.S. representatives and senators today. On Wednesday, the delegation took part in a roundtable discussion moderated by Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick.

Brinegar says bold economic action is needed to make sure the United States stays globally competitive.
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