Washington (May 13, 2004) -- The Senate this week overwhelmingly approved a bill that would, among other things, repeal the export tax incentive deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization and head off trade sanctions from Europe on U.S. manufacturers and agricultural producers.

The legislation, dubbed the "Jumpstart Our Business Strength Act," won full Senate approval on a 92-5 vote. It would end trade sanctions being imposed by the European Union. The sanctions came after the WTO declared a tax break for U.S. exporters an illegal subsidy and authorized $4 billion in sanctions against the U.S. until the tax break was repealed, according to published reports.

The bill would also reduce the tax rate for U.S. manufacturing by 3 percent by 2007.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, called the bill "a good solution." "It's not only the first step toward ending the Euro tax on America's exports, but it also gives a real shot in the arm to U.S. factories and farmers, at home and abroad," he said. "I hope the House will soon follow suit with similar legislation. We need to give permanent relief to the nation's job creators and lift the sanctions burden from our exports."

Treasury Secretary John Snow lauded the bill's passage as "an important step toward ending the burden of the tariffs currently being imposed on U.S. exports under the WTO sanctions."

-- WebCPA staff

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