Hillary Clinton set out Thursday to differentiate her economic agenda from Donald Trump's, but she and her Republican opponent still share a common belief: U.S. businesses should be punished if they move parts of their operations overseas.
"When a corporation outsources jobs and production, it can write off the costs. We must stop that, and we must make them pay back any tax breaks they received from any level of government in our country," the Democratic presidential candidate said at a campaign rally in Warren, Mich.
She added, "For those that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, they're going to have to pay a new exit tax. So if they want to go, they're going to have to pay to go."
Though Clinton's goal Thursday was to demonstrate how she is not like Trump, her support for punishing U.S. companies that outsource tracks closely with GOP nominee's stated position on the issue.
In June 2015, when Trump first launched his candidacy, he said his administration would not allow Ford to open a new plant in Mexico.
"Every car, every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we're going to charge you a 35 percent tax," Trump said. "They are going to take away thousands of jobs."
Later, after the air-conditioner manufacturer Carrier announced in February that it would move hundreds of jobs to Mexico, Trump promised to punish the company with a 35 percent tariff on air-conditioning units and other products returning to the U.S.
The tax, he explained, would pressure Carrier into keeping those jobs in America.
"Here's what's going to happen," Trump told a crowd in Indianapolis. "They're going to call me and they are going to say 'Mr. President, Carrier has decided to stay in Indiana.'"
"One hundred percent — that's what is going to happen," he added. "It's not like we have an 80 percent chance of keeping them or a 95 percent. 100 percent."
In July, Trump elaborated on his threat to slap companies like Carrier with punitive taxes.
"There will be a tax to be paid. If they're going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they're going to sell those air conditioners to the United States, there's going to be a tax," he said in an interview on "Meet the Press."
"What kind of tax are you thinking?" MSNBC's Chuck Todd asked.
"It could be 25 percent. It could be 35 percent. It could be 15 percent. I haven't determined. And it could be different for different companies. We have been working on trying to stop this ... because we don't know what we're doing," Trump explained.
In short, when it comes to the issue of U.S. companies moving operations overseas, Trump and Clinton agree: There should be some sort of punishment.
However, the two candidates differ when it comes to the issue of root causes.
Trump has argued taxes on U.S. companies are too high, and has said there should be reforms in this area.
"The United States … has the highest business tax rate among the major industrialized nations of the world, at 35 percent. It's almost 40 percent when you add in taxes at the state level," the GOP nominee said this week at a campaign event in Detroit.
"[W]e punish companies for making products in America — but let them ship products into the U.S. tax-free if they move overseas," he added. "This is backwards. All of our policies should be geared towards keeping jobs and wealth inside the United States."
Under a Trump administration, he added, U.S. companies would pay no more than 15 percent of their business income in taxes.
Earlier, in an interview in 2015 with Bloomberg News, the Republican candidate also said that so long as taxes are what they are in the U.S., it makes sense for companies to look outside America's borders.
"There is no way you can stop [inversions] really other than lowering the taxes because right now. … It is prohibitive to bring that money in. They'd have to pay so much, they'd have to be fools to bring it in," he said.
Clinton, on the other hand, doesn't seem particularly interested in tax reform.
On Thursday, she promised her administration would pursue U.S. companies to make sure they pay their "fair share" in taxes.
"I believe that every employee, from the CEO suite to the factory floor, contributes to a business' success, so everybody should share in the rewards — especially those putting in long hours for little pay," she said.
To that end, she continued, she is proposing a new tax credit, "to encourage more companies to share profits with workers. More broadly, we will fight for a more progressive, more patriotic tax code that puts American jobs first."
Clinton added, "We should also add a new tax on multi-millionaires, crack down on tax gaming by corporations and close the carried interest loophole – something I've advocated for years."