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IMA Tax Policy Blog

Tax Reform, Trade and Labor Update: Key Takeaways

by Jeff Jorge


Baker Tilly is an IMA member accounting and advisory firm…

Earlier in May, Jeff Jorge, principal, International Growth Services practice and the Center for the Return of Manufacturing (CFRM) leader, journeyed to Capitol Hill at the invitation of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), the parent organization of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association for their Annual Legislative Summit. Much of the dialogue at the summit focused on raising awareness of the automotive/mobility industry, the crucial role it plays in the U.S. economy and how important trade is to the vitality of the industry – and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Tax reform

The administration, House and Senate generally focuses on one major issue at a time. Prior weeks have been  focused on the healthcare bill. Now that a proposed bill is being evaluated by the Senate, the focus turns to tax reform. The two parties have differing positions, but it seems some legislation will be headed to debate in the House and Senate.


There seems to be some momentum against a full withdrawal of the U.S. from NAFTA. Expect to hear more, however, as the treaty requires general updates supported by thorough analysis and data. Sentiment from members of the House and Senate with whom Jeff spoke is there needs to be an increase in bipartisan dialogue to work out any issues that may prevent a revised treaty from being passed.


While there is general agreement that the return of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. is a good thing for the American economy, one of the largest challenges facing manufacturers is the shortage of skilled laborers. Based on Jeff’s discussions, he believes it is likely we will see a renewed push from the entire manufacturing ecosystem for increased partnerships and awareness on alternative methods to develop and retain skilled labor talent in the U.S. workforce.


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