March 25,1999

Roth Applauds NFTC Work Toward International Tax Reform

WASHINGTON -- Saying he welcomed "all efforts to reform the international tax system," Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today applauded the work of the National Foreign Trade Council. The NFTC today unveiled their Foreign Income Project, launched two years ago in response to concerns by American businesses that the U.S. tax code left them at a competitive disadvantage in relation to multinationals based in other countries.

"To stay at the cutting edge of the current dynamic and promising international economy, we need to fundamentally rethink our tax code. We need to make world commerce more accessible for our businesses -- our manufacturing, agriculture, marketing, financial and service industries. We must eliminate unnecessary complexity in the international provisions of the tax code. We must maintain and develop export opportunities that exist in our tax policies and make sure that they are consistent with our international obligations. We must assure that whatever revisions we undertake strengthen the integrity of our tax system. And we must make sure that our policies recognize and respond to the tax-related challenges of new technologies that facilitate not only financial transactions but traditional transactions.

"We must keep our eye on the long-term. When it comes to future changes in the global marketplace, we can only say that the past is prologue. The rapid -- almost miraculous -- changes of the last ten years only hint at things to come. In order to ensure that American companies can effectively compete in the new global economy, it is essential to have our country's pro-growth trade policies meld with our international tax rules. Today, more than ever, tax rules are playing a crucial role in business decisions. Our tax laws must encourage international businesses to come here and to strengthen U.S. businesses overseas. More competitive companies will, in turn, yield higher paying jobs for the American workforce. And this is what we all want.

"Reform of the international taxation system is critically important to our nation's competitiveness. I welcome all efforts that move us toward reform."