Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown with Ohio Farm Bureau

Brown talks trade, tax policies

Sen. Sherrod Brown hosted a virtual roundtable with Ambassador Katherine Tai, 19th United States Trade Representative, and Ohio farmers, workers and manufacturers to discuss the impact of trade policy on Ohio communities.

“I’ve noticed that trade policy over the past number of years with presidents of both parties have mostly been written in corporate boardrooms on Wall Street and in the halls of Congress, and a trade representative really hasn’t listened to workers and farmers in small town Ohio,” Brown said. “I think what Ambassador Tai heard was how trade policy, done well or done badly, really affects farmers and exports. I think she heard what she needed to make a more positive difference in our trade policy.”

Brown recapped the roundtable for Ohio Farm Bureau’s radio show, Our Ohio Weekly, and said he believes one of the biggest differences in trade policy from the Biden administration is the enforcement of rules overseas for U.S. companies that have shut down domestic production to move somewhere else due to tax policies, cheap labor and weak environmental standards. He also thinks Ambassador Tai will make changes to how tariffs are used.

“Tariffs can help, but you have to be careful with what the other countries do that can affect agriculture,” Brown said. “I don’t think we have thought that through very well, and I think the new ambassador will.”

Brown also has been visiting with his constituents about some tax policy changes being discussed in Washington. He said farm families will benefit from some of the more substantial tax revisions being looked at.

“Corporate income tax went from 35% to 21%, and Treasury Secretary Yellen is trying to do an international 15% minimum corporate tax for all countries, and that will help farm families everywhere,” Brown said. “I know that some organizations have said that some of these proposals that are aimed at the rich will hurt others, but I have seen in this country over the last 20 years that it’s middle class people, whether they are farm families or factory families or small business, that have too often bore the brunt of the tax code.”

Other proposals inside the Beltway would eliminate stepped-up basis, double capital gains tax rates and charge a new capital gains tax at death on the appreciation of assets like farmland. Ohio Farm Bureau has issued an Action Alert, encouraging members to write to their members of Congress today about these possible tax policy changes.