Biden to offer plan to fight offshoring in key battleground of Michigan

(Reuters) – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will visit the battleground state of Michigan on Wednesday, where he will outline new proposals to tax companies that move U.S. jobs overseas and offer incentives for companies to invest in domestic operations.

Biden and his rival, President Donald Trump, are ramping up their campaign travel with only eight weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

In a visit to the Detroit suburb of Warren, Biden will propose an “offshoring tax penalty” on profits from products made overseas and sold in the United States, according to a Biden adviser. Biden, who has already proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, would impose a 30.8% rate on such profits.

Biden’s plan envisions a companion 10% tax credit for companies that reopen closed or closing facilities, bringing back offshored jobs or expanding manufacturing payroll, among other domestic investments.

While those measures would require congressional approval, Biden will also detail several executive orders he would take as president to ensure the government purchases primarily American-made goods and materials.

The remarks are the latest effort from Biden to emphasize economic issues. Though Biden has led Trump in virtually every national poll for months, the surveys suggest the economy still could prove a relative strength for Trump despite the downturn wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, released on Wednesday, gave Biden a lead of 12 percentage points among likely voters, but the two candidates were dead even on the economy at 45% each.

In recent months, Biden has unveiled a sweeping economic recovery agenda he calls “Build Back Better,” while also attacking Trump for how the president has responded both to the COVID-19 outbreak and the anti-racism demonstrations gripping many major U.S. cities.

Biden’s plan calls for a multitrillion-dollar investment in manufacturing, infrastructure, environmental advances and caregiving, and he has argued that Trump has focused on corporate welfare and tax cuts for the wealthy instead of aiding working families.

Trump has touted the stock market’s gains in recent months and has said his administration’s tax cuts and deregulation helped create a powerful economy before it was derailed by the emergence of the coronavirus.

At a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Trump accused Biden of supporting the offshoring of American jobs overseas and asserted the economy would suffer if Biden is elected president.

He has also sought to stem Biden’s momentum by asserting that the former vice president will empower “radical” left-wing activists and arguing that he alone can restore “law and order” to American streets.

The president will not be campaigning on Wednesday but is expected to visit battlegrounds Michigan and Pennsylvania later in the week.

Both campaigns see Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – the trio of historically industrial states that helped propel Trump to his unexpected victory in 2016 – as key to the November election. Biden has led each state in most polls, though the Pennsylvania race appears to have tightened in recent weeks.

On Monday, during a trip to Pennsylvania, Biden attacked Trump over a story last week in The Atlantic magazine that reported the president had referred to U.S. soldiers who died in combat as “suckers” and “losers.”

At the North Carolina rally on Tuesday, Trump dismissed the report as false and drummed up by his opponents.

“They’re coming after me, because I’m fighting for you,” Trump said.

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