3 Things Entrepreneurs Should Know About President Trump's Speech to Congress
Looking ahead at the administration's aims for for taxes, healthcare and business.
Forty days into his administration, President Donald Trump last night gave his first address to a joint session of Congress. He spoke about his vision for the country, in particular his stance on several issues impacting small-business owners.
Here are three things entrepreneurs should know about.
In his speech, Trump called once again for a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. He characterized it as a “disaster” and maintained that “mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.”
At the end of 2016, Healthcare.gov saw a record 6.4 million people sign up for coverage. According to a poll from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 48 percent have a favorable view of the ACA. While some would welcome lowers healthcare costs that could come with a repeal or revision, others like solo entrepreneurs and independent contractors depend upon the coverage it provides. If the legislation is repealed without a replacement, 18 million people could lose coverage in that first year.
“Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone,” Trump said.
The President is in favor of a decrease in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. One element that could inspire debate among the business community is the border adjustment tax (BAT) that deals with the taxation of imports and exports.
“It would impose a 20 percent tax on all imports and exempt U.S. exports from tax. Not surprisingly, that has divided the U.S. business community. For instance, big retailers who import much of what they sell hate it. But big exporters like it. Many conservative lawmakers like it because it would raise about $1 trillion over 10 years, which would help offset revenue losses from lower tax rates for businesses and individuals,” explained NPR correspondent John Ydstie.
3. Women and work
Trump also spoke about his recent meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We have formed a counsel with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams,” Trump said.
Earlier this month, Trump and Trudeau announced the formation of the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. In a joint statement, the initiative is described as a means “to promote the growth of women-owned enterprises and to further contribute to our overall economic growth and competitiveness, as well as the enhanced integration of our economies.”
During Trudeau’s visit, Ivanka Trump led a roundtable discussion that included Carol Stephenson, a board member at General Motors, Elyse Allan, CEO of GE Canada, and Julie Sweet, CEO of North America for Accenture.
Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.