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Fri May 25, 2012, 12:45 PM

AP Analysis: Where Obama, Romney Stand On Manufacturing

The Associated Press is looking at the positions that President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have taken on small business issues. Here's where they stand on ways to help U.S. manufacturers:


Gov. Romney is committed to cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. This lower tax burden will enable manufacturing companies to reinvest more of their profits back into the company and offer higher wages to skilled workers.

Protecting the competitive edge of U.S. manufacturers will also require assertive trade policies that open new markets for American businesses and workers while stopping countries like China from cheating on their trade commitments. Gov. Romney will confront China over its intellectual property theft, its closed market and its currency manipulation and make clear to all countries that the United States embraces free trade but only with countries willing to play by the rules.

Acknowledging the importance of research and development to the manufacturing industry, Gov. Romney will also make permanent the R&D (research and development) credit. This credit promotes innovation in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries, and helps businesses plan their innovation spending. With a strong, permanent credit, companies will be able to invest for the future with confidence.

FACT CHECK: The vast majority of manufacturers are small businesses that wouldn't benefit from a cut in the corporate tax rate. According to 2008 Census figures, the most recent numbers available, nearly 99 percent of manufacturers had fewer than 500 employees. More than 80 percent of small businesses are either not corporations, or they're what are known as S corporations, according to the National Small Business Association. In all these cases, owners pay taxes on the business, at an individual rate that may be higher than the corporate rate.


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