Geithner: Obama seeks 28 percent corp. tax rate
Corporations with overseas operations would also face an unspecified minimum tax on their foreign earnings
The corporate tax debate has made its way into the presidential contest. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has called for a 25 percent rate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would cut the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent, and former Sen. Rick Santorum would exempt domestic manufacturers from the corporate tax and halve the top rate for other businesses.
While Obama has been promoting various aspects of his economic agenda in personal appearances and speeches, the decision to leave the corporate tax plan to the Treasury Department to unveil signaled its lower priority.
What's more, the administration's framework leaves much for Congress to decide — a deliberate move by the administration to encourage negotiations but which also doesn't subject the plan to detailed scrutiny.
Obama's plan is not as ambitious as a House Republican proposal that would lower the corporate rate to 25 percent.
Still, Obama has said corporate tax rates are too high and has proposed eliminating tax breaks for American companies that move jobs and profits overseas. He also has proposed giving tax breaks to U.S. manufacturers, to firms that return jobs to this country and to companies that relocate to some communities that have lost big employers.
Geithner told a House committee last week that the administration wants to create more incentives for corporations to invest in the United States.
"We want to bring down the rate, and we think we can, to a level that's closer to the average of that of our major competitors," Geithner told the House Ways and Means Committee.
White House economic adviser Gene Sperling has advocated a minimum tax on global profits. Currently many corporations do not invest overseas profits in the United States to avoid the 35 percent tax rate.
Associated Press writers Martin Crutsinger and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.
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