Lilly CEO: Tax Reform Could Boost Indiana Investment

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When Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Executive Officer Dave Ricks announced plans last week for the company to invest $850 million in U.S. manufacturing and research operations in 2017, he also had a clear message for federal lawmakers. Reform the nation's tax code and we’ll invest more. "The U.S. has a pretty antiquated tax system for corporations," said Ricks, during an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television. "It taxes your earnings globally and that's out of step with the rest of the countries on the planet."

Ricks stressed that tax reform "could unleash more investment for us here in Indiana."

At a Friday dedication ceremony for a recently-completed, $140 million insulin cartridge facility on the city's near southwest side, Ricks outlined 2017 investment plans that he says reflect a return to growth, fueled by new products. He said the company is on course to launch 20 new products over a ten-year period and continues to view "Indiana and the United States as attractive places to research and make the medicines that we sell around the world."

The $850 million in capital investment for 2017 represents about a $100 million increase from 2016 levels and includes an $85 million expansion of Lilly's Trulicity device assembly operations in Indianapolis, part of a continued focus on diabetes. 

Lilly says between 2012 and 2016 it invested approximately $1.1 billion in diabetes product manufacturing in the U.S. and increased its manufacturing workforce by more than 1,000 employees, about 400 of those in Indianapolis.

Ricks says tax policy will continue to play an important role in future investment decisions. "Tax policy makes a big difference at the end of the business case in terms of what rate you apply to the earnings you make," said Ricks. "We like to put things where we can access a skilled labor pool, like here in Indianapolis, but there is skilled labor elsewhere as well."

Watch the full interview:

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