Providing American businesses with incentives to invest at home is a common sense solution that will immediately inject up to $1 trillion into our economy and provide businesses with the security and certainty they need to help get Americans back to work. The time to act is now. Let's invest the money here at home – not spend it overseas.

Letter to Congress and the White House from American Business Leaders

Dear President Obama, Speaker Boehner, Leader Reid, Leader McConnell and Leader Pelosi:

At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, it has become painfully clear that additional steps are needed to promote investment, innovation, and competition in America’s faltering economy.

While we support Congressional efforts to enact comprehensive tax reform that makes our domestic tax code more efficient for U.S. companies to compete in the growing global market, we believe in the short-term, Congress has an enormous opportunity to immediately inject significant private sector investment into the U.S. economy. We and others support bipartisan legislation that has been introduced in Congress to allow U.S. companies to repatriate more than $1,000,000,000,000 in foreign source income at a more tax efficient rate than is currently available. By not pursuing this bipartisan approach in the near-term and instead waiting for comprehensive tax reform to be developed over the next several years, our nation will miss a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and infuse cash into our struggling economy.

As you know, the U.S. tax code contains massive disincentives for American businesses to bring overseas earnings home — and as a result, more than $1.4 trillion is trapped overseas. In light of our nation’s serious economic challenges, Congress should eliminate these disincentives and encourage this money to be deployed in the U.S. so that it can provide an immediate jolt to our economy.

The consequences of inaction are real. Innovative companies like ours must continue to reinvest in our companies or acquire new technologies in order to maintain growth, and since a large amount of our cash holdings are now held overseas, our most significant opportunities for growth are outside the United States. In 2011 alone, U.S. companies have spent more than $150 billion of their overseas earnings on acquisitions of foreign companies or other foreign investments — money that otherwise could have been invested here at home to create new jobs and strengthen our economy. The simple truth is that the longer we wait, the more money will be spent overseas, and these foreign investments are unlikely to return to the U.S. even if our tax policies are changed to encourage domestic investment in the future.

Economists on both sides of the aisle have found compelling new evidence on the benefits of repatriation. A new study by Dr. Laura Tyson, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Clinton Administration, estimates that $942 billion would come back to the U.S. for domestic use — leading to an increase of $178 billion to $336 billion in GDP and creating upwards of 2.5 million new jobs. Dr. Tyson also outlines the notable economic benefits of stocks and dividend repurchases — predicting that U.S. shareholders would directly spend between $25 billion and $38 billion of repatriated cash.

Former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin estimates that repatriation would create 2.9 million jobs and would provide a significant boost to economic growth, and Clinton Administration economist Dr. Robert Shapiro forecasts that repatriation actually would generate over $8 billion in revenue for the U.S. Treasury. Economists agree that at the current rate of 35 percent, most of these earnings will never come back, will not be subject to U.S. corporate tax, and will never be available to the Treasury or the domestic economy to boost consumption, investment and employment.

Perhaps that is why repatriation enjoys bipartisan support in Congress.

As leaders of America’s most innovative, high-growth companies, we are committed to keeping our country strong, vital, and competitive in the global marketplace. Too many Americans are out of work and the economy remains in a precarious position. We urge you to work together to pass repatriation legislation this year. Our companies stand ready to help accomplish this important priority.

Sincerely,

Steve Ballmer
CEO
Microsoft

Safra Catz
President and CFO
Oracle Corporation

Paul Jacobs
Chairman and CEO
Qualcomm, Inc.

Shantanu Narayen
President and CEO
Adobe Systems, Inc.

Kevin Sharer
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Amgen, Inc.

Carl Bass
President and CEO
Autodesk, Inc.

John Chambers
Chairman and CEO
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Michael Klayko
CEO
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.

Ian Read
President and CEO
Pfizer, Inc.

Kevin Surace
Chairman and CEO
Serious Energy, Inc.

David B. Bell
President and CEO
Intersil Corporation

Timothy E. Guertin
President and CEO
Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

William E. McCracken
CEO
CA Technologies

Jim Rogers
Chairman, President and CEO
Duke Energy

Thomas Werner
President and CEO
SunPower Corporation