“The tax raises little direct revenue —partly because the estate planners have been so successful in devising ways to escape the tax,” Friedman wrote. “Costs of collection and compliance are high. Death should not be a taxable event. The
should be repealed.” While there is a long legislative road to go before a tax reform measure is passed, many observers— including Schoening—agree that this is probably as good a chance as there has been in a while for the
to be repealed or modified to some extent. “But there is a very, very small margin in the Senate,” Schoen- ing explained. “It is going to de- pend on how the larger comprehen- sive tax reform bill is pushed forward. It seems like the Senate always likes to leave its own mark on something. So a bill will come over from the House and then I think that is really when the ‘sausage making’ will start to happen [in the Senate].” Letter writing, emails, and phone calls to congressional representatives on the part of business owners are also crucial, Ayers explained. “I think a lot of family business owners, like NAED members, have been pushing for this for so long that it remains a priority,” Ayers said. “As long as that continues to be an issue that family business is pushing, it will make it into tax reform.” ;
is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at email@example.com.
There are many companies that simply don’t make a profit—
Twitter and Uber come to mind. Amazon loses money on Prime,
and Netflix pays billions for content that isn’t immediately
recouped. So why do they do it? To steal market share. You lose
at first, wait for your competition to die off, and then be the last
(or best) man standing. This seems to be the route China is tak-
ing with steel.
Currently more than half of the world’s steel comes from
China. Over the past two decades of Chinese steel production,
many steel mills shut down globally. Before China ramped up
production, the United States had 13 full steel mills in opera-
tion. Today, just nine are functioning. So China’s plan seems to
be working, if that is indeed its motive.
Why buy steel from a U.S. mill when you can buy it whole-
sale from China at a fraction of the cost? This is the quagmire
from which politicians are trying to extricate themselves.
President Trump’s efforts to bring factory jobs back to the mid-
dle class, which catapulted him into the White House, might
ultimately do more harm than good in the long term.
Right now, there are a handful of happy people—mostly
those who work in American steel mills and those of us that
retail steel goods in America. U.S. production of steel is up, the
value of steel stateside is up, and what we currently sell is in-
herently worth more now. So how can something that brings
jobs and more money into a distributorship be bad?
The American companies that will now pay more for their
U.S. steel will have to pass that increase on to consumers,
which might end up decreasing demand. If steel costs more, so
will steel fittings, steel boxes, steel girders, etc. In distribution,
we pass this increase on to our customers, as it was passed on
to us from our manufacturers.
But that same cost increase can hurt American manufactur-
ers when they attempt to sell abroad. Since most of the world
doesn’t have the same stringent restrictions on foreign steel,
selling finished goods outside the United States can be a chal-
lenge. Why would consumers in Germany pay more for a plas-
ter ring made in the United States when they can get one made
with cheaper Chinese steel for less?
So, in the short term, we are making more money by selling
the same goods. But no one knows the long-term ramifications
of these duties and policies. U.S. mills can produce all the ex-
pensive steel they want, but the pool of people willing to buy it
could start to shrink—and that can affect all of us.
If there was an easy fix to everything, some politician would
have found it by now. But in reality, a whole lot of it is trial and
error. “Putting America First” looks great on a hat, but the long-
term sustainability of such a battle cry might leave many won-
dering if it is the right call. ;
is director of purchasing and warehouse opera-
tions at Paramont EO in Chicago. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-727-2666.
I could see the House passing a [tax reform] bill this year.…likely before the New Year. It’s possible the Sen- ate could do some- thing this year as well.
Oct. 17 • the
ELEC TRICAL DIS TRIBUTOR
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