Lew Calls for Congressional Action on Business Tax Code

Secretary rails against corporate tax inversions

Bloomberg News
Jack Lew, U.S. Treasury secretary.

By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN | Featured on Market Watch

LOS ANGELES — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Congress to embrace business tax reform, calling it the only surefire way to combat corporate tax inversions, or mergers by U.S. companies to move to lower-tax jurisdictions.

Speaking at the Milken Institute’s 2016 global conference, Lew condemned the tactic.

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“I don’t think it’s right…it shouldn’t be legal,” he said. “We have to take actions to make it harder…we will look at what [more] we can do to slow the pipeline…but I don’t think you can permanently shut it down without legislation.”

Lew was upbeat about the possibility of achieving a legislative business tax overhaul. “We came closer than people think about a year ago” to getting bipartisan support in Congress for a deal, he said.

The key, he said, is to separate changes in business tax policy from changes in the tax code for individuals.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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