Geithner Discusses Tax Overhaul With Six U.S. Company Leaders

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussed President Barack Obama’s proposed corporate tax overhaul with executives of six U.S.-based companies including Macy’s Inc. (M), PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) and United Technologies Corp. (UTX)

The participants in today’s meeting with Geithner and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin were confirmed by Treasury spokeswoman Sabrina Siddiqui. Also attending the meeting at the Treasury Department were the chief executives of Edison International (EIX), Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) and EMC Corp (EMC).

The Treasury Department announced the meeting yesterday as a roundtable for executives to discuss “the state of the economy and the need for business tax reform.” Obama released a corporate tax overhaul proposal on Feb. 22 that would reduce the corporate rate to 28 percent from 35 percent and eliminate tax breaks.

Obama’s plan would retain the so-called worldwide system of taxation. That regime taxes the offshore profits of U.S.-based multinational companies. Obama’s plan would make it harder to defer taxes on that income.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, has proposed a shift to a so-called territorial system of taxation that would exempt most income that companies generate abroad from taxes in the U.S.

Companies whose operations are almost entirely domestic, such as Cincinnati-based Macy’s, don’t have a significant stake in international tax rules and haven’t been vocal in opposing Obama’s proposed changes.

Meanwhile, Dow Chemical is one of the largest employers in Camp’s hometown of Midland, Michigan. The company employs about 5,300 people in the area, according to Midland Tomorrow, a local economic development group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Sloan in Washington at ssloan7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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