In 2016, President Barack Obama said then-candidate Donald Trump would need a magic wand to deliver on his promise to bring back manufacturing. Turns out, Trump didn’t need a magic wand — all he needed was tax reform.
Since President Trump signed the tax cuts, manufacturing has been booming. At least 100 manufacturers have built new facilities, purchased new equipment, hired new employees, and invested in current employees through bonuses and benefit increases. Each has cited tax cuts as the reason for their actions.
Manufacturers are taking advantage of two key pro-business and pro-growth provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: a reduced corporate tax rate and full business expensing. The new corporate tax rate is 21 percent, down from the developed-world high of 35 percent. Full business expensing allows manufacturers who purchase new equipment to deduct the full cost from their taxable income in the same year. Previously, deductions occurred over multiyear periods involving complex depreciation schedules.
Baker Boy, a family-owned baked goods manufacturer in North Dakota, wasted no time in taking advantage of full business expensing. Earlier this year, they purchased new equipment needed to manufacture Magic Ring Donuts, a specialty doughnut that has never before been available in North America. The new equipment allows Baker Boy to inject jelly or cream filling in to the ring of a doughnut and still have a hole in its center.
The company is reinvesting its tax savings back into the business, which will allow it to more than quadruple its doughnut production.
“Right now, we can produce 5,000 donuts per hour,” said Guy Moos, president of Baker Boy. “By investing in more modern technology, we’re upping our capacity to 22,000 donuts per hour. That’s about $15 million additional sales of donuts every year.” Additional doughnut sales and production translate in to high-paying manufacturing jobs for many North Dakotans.
Trump has also followed through on his promise to make America more globally competitive for manufacturing companies.
Centennial Bolt, which manufactures bolts, nuts, screws, rivets, and washers, is opening a manufacturing facility in the Midwest to produce a new line of products. The best part? Without the Trump tax cuts, this facility probably would have been opened in China.
The new product line is “something right now that’s being manufactured primarily in China,” explained Mark Cordova, president of Centennial Bolt. “We’re actually going to be at a competitive level to build it in the United States again.”
Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, also credited the Trump tax cuts for making the United States more competitive. The cuts enabled them to open a new $75 million research facility in Indianapolis.
“Congress and this [presidential] administration have enhanced our ability to acquire and develop U.S.-born innovation,” Dave Ricks, chairman and CEO of Lilly, said. “The tax reforms they’ve adopted place U.S. companies like Lilly on a level playing field with our global peers.”
Businesses who are benefiting from tax cuts aren’t hoarding the perks, as some liberals claim. In addition to hiring new employees, they are passing benefits along to their current employees. Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., which manufactures lumber products, has used tax savings to lower employee healthcare costs, increase employee paid time off, and even develop scholarship funds for dependents of employees.
“I’m very pleased that every employee across the company will see the results of the change in tax laws,” said Jimmy Rane, Great Southern Wood’s founder, president, and CEO. “I can’t think of a better way to apply our tax savings than by further investing in benefits programs for our employees. We strive to be an employer that draws the best and brightest to our company, and we believe that providing stronger benefits is essential to this continuing effort.”
Great Southern Wood employs nearly 1,200 employees in 11 states who will benefit thanks to GOP tax cuts.
The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey recently found that manufacturer’s optimism reached the highest average in history at 93.9 percent. The optimism paired with Republican tax cuts has translated directly into high-paying jobs for America’s manufacturing employees.
Democrats are campaigning on repealing Republican tax cuts. If they win in 2018, it won’t just mean a higher individual tax rate for Americans. It will mean a repeal of every single provision that has allowed manufacturers to hire more workers, open new facilities, and offer their employees increased benefits. Democrats aren’t merely campaigning against Trump’s tax cuts, they are campaigning against American manufacturing.
Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) is a communications associate at Americans for Tax Reform.