House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) refused Monday to outright endorse Donald Trump’s proposal to tax U.S. companies that move jobs overseas.
McCarthy tried to avoid answering the question in a meeting with reporters, according to multiple accounts, but eventually warned that the U.S. should be careful not to get into a trade war over tariffs.
“I think the point the president-elect was trying to make was he wants to create jobs in America,” McCarthy said, according to a report in Politico. “Today, the best way to make that change is through tax reform. … I think there are other ways to achieve what the president elect is talking about, but the only way you can do any of this is you’ve got to have tax reform.”
McCarthy’s unease over Trump’s trade policy is one of the many expected fault lines between the President-elect and leaders in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Trump campaigned against U.S. trade policy whereas Ryan spent the better half of 2015 fighting to pass a free trade deal in his chamber.
McCarthy said, according to Politico, that “I don’t want to get into some kind of trade war.”
Instead, McCarthy favored lowering the corporate tax rate in the U.S. to ensure companies wouldn’t be leaving in the first place instead of hitting companies with tariffs if they leave.