US TAX REFORM

Trump’s tax gift to corporate Germany

BMW Chicago Trump tax reform
Odds are this German BMW was produced in the United States. Source: BMW

Overhauling the corporate tax code was always part of Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to American businesses – a means of leveling the playing field with foreign competition. Mr. Trump put it most plainly in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper before he took office last January, when he complained it was unfair to see Mercedes all over New York when so few Germans are buying Chevrolets.

And so there’s a certain irony to the fact that the tax reform bill, signed into law last week, has also given a gift to some of Germany’s larger companies, including its carmakers. The simple reason is that some of these companies already produce a large amount of their goods in the United States.

For German auto giants such as BMW and Daimler, which manufacture more vehicles in the United States than they export to the country, the lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent stands to help them in the same way it helps American companies. Fresenius Medical Care, which produces its dialysis machines in the US, is also expecting the effects to be positive.

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