The 2017 tax cuts put forward by Donald Trump did not help the U.S. economy, but his tariffs "helped save American jobs," according to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. She spoke at a White House press briefing about President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan on April 7. Raimondo's remarks can be viewed in their entirety at whitehouse.gov/briefing-room.

'Not a shred of evidence' that tax cuts helped

Raimondo, a former governor of Rhode Island, told journalists, "there is not a shred of evidence to show that the cuts in 2017 increased growth or productivity.

Actually, very little of it went into additional R&D (Research and Development)." She made those comments in a defense of President Biden's plan to increase the corporate income tax to 28 percent.

Trump's tariffs protected jobs

The Commerce Secretary noted, however, that Trump's tariffs had "helped save American jobs in the steel and aluminum industries." Protectionist measures were appropriate when American businesses did not find themselves on a level playing field with global competitors, she said. Raimondo added, "No one can outcompete the American worker if the playing field is leveled."

Competing with China

The Commerce Secretary said she was going to work "as aggressively as possible" to defend Americans against unfair Chinese trade practices.

She said that China had been "uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded. They've proven they'll do whatever it takes."

2020 Census results available by September 30

Raimondo said that the 2020 Census results necessary for redrawing congressional and other legislative districts were expected to be made available by September 30, 2021.

She acknowledged that some local officials wanted the information now because they were preparing for elections this year. “But we are prioritizing accuracy over rushing it out,” she said, recalling that the Coronavirus pandemic and “civil unrest through the summer” had hindered the work of census officials. “So, we’re behind,” she said.

Biden's American Jobs Plan

Biden's American Jobs Plan would create "tens of millions of jobs" with projects to improve the country's infrastructure and better enable the U.S. "to outcompete China," she said. "The fact is, we have failed for a long time to invest. And as a result, we have fallen behind."

The plan provides for a "$50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research," she said. Referring to those in the business community who opposed the plan's 28% corporate income tax, Raimondo said the Biden Administration was open to compromise. "Come to the table and problem-solve with us to come up with a reasonable, responsible plan," she said.

Raimondo's comments about Biden's American Jobs Plan came just hours before the President spoke on the matter.

More information about the President's plan can be found at whitehouse.gov/american-jobs-plan.

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