Commentary: Lowering corporate taxes would help Box Elder workers

FILE - This July 9, 2015, file photo, shows signage outside Procter & Gamble corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. Procter & Gamble shareholders are heading to company headquarters, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, to decide if activist investor Nelson Peltz should join its board. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has said that P&G’s financial performance over the last 10 years has been disappointing. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Congress is in midst of moving a tax bill that is essential to the United States’ economic future. Allow me an opportunity to introduce some facts on why it is so important to our company, our workers and our community.

Proctor and Gamble sells consumer products in more than 180 countries and territories. We have 25 manufacturing sites located in 19 U.S. states and territories, as well as nearly 90 manufacturing sites in foreign countries, where we manufacture products close to the consumers we serve worldwide. Here in Box Elder County, I am proud that we employ nearly 200 people. Within Utah, P&G purchases about $16 million of products and services from more than 80 suppliers.

At P&G, we believe tax reform is crucial for both our company and our country. Why? The U.S. tax system puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace. P&G has been a global company for more than 100 of our 180 years. In fact, one in five of P&G’s U.S.-based jobs support our international business, in areas such as manufacturing, marketing, innovation and supply chain management. So when P&G succeeds in international markets, it means we succeed here at home, too.

However, the U.S. corporate tax rate is among the highest in the developed world at 35 percent. The current global average for developed countries is about 24 percent, and countries are lowering their rates further, creating a downward trend. This makes it harder for P&G and other U.S.-headquartered businesses — small and large — to compete with peer companies headquartered overseas. It also reduces the competitiveness of the U.S. economy as a place to do business and create jobs. The Congress is currently considering legislation that would lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

Congress is also considering legislation that would move the U.S. tax code from a worldwide corporate income tax system to what is known as a territorial tax system. This would help American companies, including P&G, compete on a level playing field. Unlike P&G, our competitors headquartered outside the U.S. — who already operate under a territorial system — do not pay additional tax to their home countries when they sell products outside their home countries. Because 60 percent of P&G’s sales are global, the current U.S. tax code puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Other American companies are in a similar position.

As Members of Congress debate whether or not to pass tax reform in the coming weeks, it is important to remember that economic growth and jobs in our community depend on having a competitive U.S. tax system. The details will matter, but a tax system with a 20 percent corporate tax rate and a modern territorial tax system will boost economic growth here at home and level the playing field for U.S. businesses and workers — including P&G’s U.S. employees here in Box Elder County, Utah.

Joe Tomon is plant manager at the P&G Manufacturing Facility, maker of Bounty and Charmin products, in Box Elder.