FOX Business News interviews Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel Wire Products, to discuss suggestions given to Obama's senior staff for improving the tax rates so American factories will be able to operate on an even playing field with the rest of the world.
FOX News: >> Our next guest spent two days at The White House this week, invited to listen to the President speak about bringing jobs back to America and to tell members of the administration about the hurdles facing small business. His message: taxes are too high and regulations too many, but is anybody inside The White House actually listening? We welcome Drew Greenblatt; he is the President of Marlin Steel and a good friend of ours. Drew, good to see you, thanks for coming back. How many times; you’ve been to The White House almost more than you’ve been here.
DREW GREENBLATT >> Twice this week and once last month.
FOX News: >> Are they listening?
DREW GREENBLATT >> I think they’re trying to explain to small business people their perspective and how they believe they’re contributing to the success of the American economy. However, I think there’s some challenges going on in the American economy that need to be addressed. Some of the impediments that we’re feeling and facing is because of some of the things that they’ve created. I think it would be helpful for our economy if they were to make our system easier to grow and thrive.
FOX News: >> The fact is that one of your messages is that taxes are too high or that taxes should be coming down; we had their chief economic advisor, Mr. Krueger, coming out yesterday and saying the way to get the economy going again is to raise the tax rates. It’s exactly the opposite of what you guys are going there and telling them.
DREW GREENBLATT >> Right, I had an exchange with Secretary Bryson on Wednesday in particular with him and I described to him that our tax rates are so uncompetitive. For example, in Canada, their tax rates are 18% and falling down to 15% and that includes health insurance. However, our tax rates for a small factory are up in the 40% range and that doesn’t include state taxes. What happens is jobs that should happen in America are lost to Canadian factories or German or French factories; all these factories are cheaper to operate. American factories have a 20% cost differential vs. our global competitors.
FOX News: >> Right.
DREW GREENBLATT >> This is because our tort laws, the tort lawyers are running crazy. This is because the regulations are oppressive in our country. What’s happening is this hurts the American worker. It makes not a level playing field.
FOX News: >> Absolutely.
DREW GREENBLATT >> We don’t have the same kind of advantages. Our factory workers don’t have the same kind of advantages as in other factories.
FOX News: >> I think, Drew, the one bone that they’re going to throw to you and to other businesses in the country; they are going to lower the corporate rate. I predict that this administration, even though they’ve just been jaw-boning about it so far, that they will before the election, lower the corporate tax rate to try to get some support of businesses that have soured on them. But when you come out and say this is what we need, what do they tell you? Face-to-face, mono-a-mono?
DREW GREENBLATT >> Well, Gene Sperling said to me and to several others in the room, the guiding principle of the administration is to improve the economic climate for factories. That’s when I had the exchange with Bryson. I said, it’s critical that we get our tax rates fair. By the way, there was a gentleman there from Intel. He said their tax rates are 32%, again, higher than the 18% over in Canada. He said they spent 4 billion dollars a year in taxes and it’s a challenge for them to be as competitive as they could be. If you want companies like Intel, you want companies like Marlin.
FOX News: >> Of course you do.
DREW GREENBLATT >> Growing and investing in our country.
FOX News: >> You had an exchange with Bill Daley, the exiting Chief of Staff, over the NLRB and Boeing; tell us how that went, quickly.
DREW GREENBLATT >> Well, what happened was, I was with several manufacturers in the Roosevelt room, recently, last month and we said the NLRB is a challenge for growth. It creates uncertainty, it creates a lot of new regulations coming out of the NLRB which are very unsettling to factory owners. If you want to grow factories in America, you can’t have these kinds of rules.
FOX News: >> And he said?
DREW GREENBLATT >> He said you can’t name one company in America that has been impacted by the NLRB since President Obama has been in office and there was complete silence in the room. I was stunned that he said that. I said, Mr. Daley, what about Boeing in South Carolina?
FOX News: >> Boeing – yeah.
DREW GREENBLATT >> Right. He got red-faced and he said to me, you know, I’m a former board member of Boeing and it was negotiated, it was compromised. My gut is that Boeing probably had challenges because of the NLRB and they had to make agreements they probably wouldn’t have made if it wasn’t…
FOX News: >> Yeah – it’s just amazing.
DREW GREENBLATT >> I agree.
FOX News: >> It’s just amazing that it wasn’t even on his radar screen, even though he was on the board there and everybody knew about it. Drew, congratulations, at least somebody is talking to these people – what you’re doing. Congratulations for doing that. I hope they invite you back and next time listen with open ears. Drew Greenblatt from Marlin Steel, great to see you again Drew, thank you.