Trump to tout benefits of his tax plan to the nation’s truckers in Pennsylvania speech

President Trump in the Oval Office at the White House last week. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

President Trump on Wednesday plans to target his pitch for tax cuts to what the White House sees as a key constituency: the nation’s truckers.

Trump is scheduled to deliver a late-afternoon speech in Harrisburg, Pa., where he will tout the Republican tax plan with an emphasis on the benefits for those who navigate the country’s highways, whom he will dub “the lifeblood of our economy.”

“Nothing gets done in America without the hard-working men and women of the trucking industry,” Trump plans to say in his speech, according to a senior administration official. “America depends on you for the fuel that powers our cars, the produce that nourishes our communities and the beautiful steel that stands up our tallest skyscrapers.”

The speech will be attended by hundreds of truckers, as well as Pennsylvania business leaders, the administration official said, who spoke to reporters on a conference call on the condition of anonymity to preview the speech.

During the address, scheduled in an airport hangar, Trump is also expected to tout a provision of the plan, outlined in a nine-page paper in late August, that would provide a special one-time tax holiday for U.S. companies willing to repatriate funds from abroad.

“My Council of Economic Advisers estimates this change alone will likely give the typical American household a $4,000 pay raise,” Trump is prepared to say in the speech, according to the senior administration official.

Neither that official nor other White House aides would provide any detail Tuesday on the math behind the $4,000 figure, including the time span for the purported savings. One aide said a white paper on the subject would be coming shortly.

A similar repatriation effort in 2004 provided little in the way of hiring, and some of the companies that benefited from the tax break actually cut payrolls.

The administration official said Trump’s plan would benefit truckers in several ways, including a lower top marginal rate for small businesses that file as “pass-through entities.” Another GOP provision, the repeal of the estate tax, would benefit family-owned companies that pass along assets to the next generation, the official said.

During the speech, Trump plans to point to several taxpayers in the audience who would benefit from his plans, the administration official said.

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