NAM Board Chair Stresses Urgent Need for Tax Reform at The Economic Club of New York

Says Ultimately, Tax Reform Is a Question of Values

New York, N.Y., September 6, 2017 – Today, David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson and chair of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will deliver a speech highlighting the urgent need for policymakers to come together to advance tax reform for the future of manufacturing. Below are key excerpts from the speech, which will take place at The Economic Club of New York. The speech can be viewed live at 8:00 a.m. EDT at

On the urgent need for tax reform:

“If you are defending the current tax code, then you have to defend a manufacturing worker in Ohio losing his or her job to a worker overseas. If you are defending the current tax code, you have to defend years and years of mediocre economic growth, stagnant wages and entire communities losing hope for future prosperity. If you are defending the current tax code, you are defending less innovation, fewer technological breakthroughs, less R&D and fewer lifesaving medical discoveries.

Ultimately, this is a question of values—because the tax code is a reflection of what we value as a country. Do we value the American manufacturing worker and workers in all industries?

Do we want to secure their jobs here? Do we want to raise their standards of living? Do we want to give workers the best possible shot at making a good living and a good life? Do we want plentiful jobs for the next generation?”

On the federal corporate tax rate:

“We must cut the federal corporate tax rate to 15 percent and lower the tax rate for the two-thirds of manufacturers that pay taxes at individual tax rates as pass-through entities. It’s backward and unfair to saddle them with marginal tax rates of up to 44 percent.”

On taxing overseas earnings:

“We have to stop punishing global U.S. companies when they reinvest overseas earnings in the United States. At Emerson, for example, more than 50 percent of our sales in 2016 were outside the United States, and most of our competitors are based abroad. Since Emerson is headquartered in St. Louis, we pay taxes on overseas earnings brought back home while our foreign competitors do not.

That kind of tax structure puts Emerson—and other global companies headquartered across America—at a structural cost disadvantage.…The U.S. needs to catch up with the rest of the world and implement a territorial tax system—so we can create more jobs here while selling to overseas markets.”

On capital cost recovery:

“We need a robust capital cost-recovery system. As I explained to Congress a few months ago, a firm’s capital cost includes the price of capital equipment, the cost of financing the equipment and the tax treatment of the investment. Faster capital expensing lowers the after-tax cost and increases the number of profitable projects a firm can undertake.”

On R&D incentives:

“Manufacturers will be looking for strong research and development incentives in any tax package—both R&D deductions and a strengthened R&D credit.

So, that’s the straightforward and smart reform manufacturers want and that America deserves: a fair corporate tax rate, fair rates for small business, a territorial tax system, a robust capital cost-recovery system and consistent long-term-focused R&D incentives.”

Watch the speech live online at 8:00 a.m. EDT at


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit