Romney jobs plan to cut taxes, get tough on China

Sep 5, 2011, 4:31 p.m.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks during the American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum in Columbia, South Carolina September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Keane

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will propose a jobs plan to cut corporate taxes, pare back federal regulations and get tough against China on trade.

In a column set to appear in Tuesday's USA TODAY newspaper, the former Massachusetts governor said his plan would consist of 59 proposals, including 10 that he would introduce on his first day in office.

Romney will release his jobs plan in Nevada on Tuesday.

"Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur," he said.

"All too often, however, government gets in the way. The past three years of unparalleled government expansion have retaught that lesson all too well," he said.

Romney, the one-time leader in the Republican 2012 race, has fallen behind Texas Governor Rick Perry in opinion polls in the battle for the nomination to challenge President Barack Obama next year.

Romney will release his jobs plan two days before Obama presents his own job-creation proposal to a joint session of Congress.

The August labor report released on Friday showed employment growth ground to a halt last month and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent.

In the column, Romney said he would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers, and reduce a corporate tax rate that he said leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage.

"Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation," he said.

He also said he would direct every government agency to limit annual increases in regulatory costs to zero, with the impact of any proposed new regulation offset by removing another regulation of equivalent cost.

"Every one of President Obama's regulations must be scrutinized, and those that unduly burden job creation must be axed," he said.

He also said he would create a "Reagan Economic Zone," a partnership among countries committed to free enterprise and free trade, that could serve as a mechanism for confronting nations that violate trade rules. He said he would use the zone against China.

"I will not stand by while China pursues an economic development policy that relies on the unfair treatment of U.S. companies and the theft of their intellectual property. I have no interest in starting a trade war with China, but I cannot accept our current trade surrender," he said.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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