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In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama stated "Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing." His “Framework for Business Tax Reform” would support this priority by focusing and deepening the existing tax deduction for domestic manufacturing activities. Others, including Senator Orrin Hatch, ranking minority member of the Finance Committee, are cool to the idea, saying, "We're starting to come back in manufacturing, and I don't think you need the government to show the way for them."

On March 15, the Urban-BrookingsTax Policy Center and the International Tax Policy Forum hosted a conference to assess the current state of U.S. manufacturing, its contribution to U.S. economic growth, and whether tax reform should maintain, deepen, or eliminate preferential income tax treatment of manufacturing income.

Brookings Co-Director of the Tax Policy Center William Gale gave introductory remarks and moderated the first panel with Brookings Director of the Initiative on Business and Public Policy Martin Baily, and Tax Policy Center Director Donald Marron served as a panelist. Former member of the Council of Economic Advisers Laura D’Andrea Tyson delivered the keynote address. After each panel, speakers took questions from the audience.

Event Agenda

  • 8:50


  • 9:00

    The State of U.S. Manufacturing

  • 9:45

    The Impact of Taxation on Location of Manufacturing Activities

    • Moderator

      Mihir Desai

      Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance

      Harvard University

    • Fritz Foley

      André R. Jakurski Professor of Business Administration

      Harvard Business School

    • Paul Oosterhuis

      Partner, International and Corporate Tax Law

      Skadden , Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

  • 10:45

    Should the U.S. Reform the Taxation of Manufacturing?

    • Moderator

      James R. Hines Jr.

      Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor of Economics and L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law

      University of Michigan Law School

    • Robert D. Atkinson


      Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

    • Donald Marron


      Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

    • Pam Olson

      Deputy Tax Leader and Washington National Tax Services Practice Leader


    • Damon Silvers

      Director of Policy and Special Counsel


  • 11:45

    Keynote Address

    • Laura D. Tyson

      S. K. and Angela Chan Chair in Global Management

      Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley


March 15, 2013

8:50 AM - 12:30 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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