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President Obama To Propose Tax Plan Aimed At Keeping Jobs In U.S.

Obama Taxes

First Posted: 01/11/12 10:20 AM ET Updated: 01/11/12 11:05 AM ET

(Adds details, quotes, background)

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, under pressure in an election year to boost the economy and reduce high unemployment, will unveil tax proposals aimed at encouraging U.S. firms to keep jobs at home, the White House said on Wednesday.

"In the coming weeks, the president will put forward new tax proposals to reward companies that choose to invest or bring back jobs to the United States, and to eliminate tax advantages for companies moving jobs overseas," the White House said in a statement.

Obama was hosting a forum with executives on Wednesday on "Insourcing American Jobs" at which he will call on companies to invest and hire in the United States instead of moving jobs abroad.

The emphasis on keeping U.S. jobs at home is in line with a populist economic message championed by Obama that could play well with unionized workers, whose support the Democratic president will need to win re-election in November.

The practice of U.S. companies moving jobs to foreign countries such as India and China, where labor is cheaper, is a source of concern to many U.S. workers and resonates strongly in Midwest industrial states such as Ohio and Michigan that are expected to be battlegrounds in this year's election.

At the business forum, Obama will urge companies investing overseas "to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work," the White House said.

"That's how we'll rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded - and a nation where those values live on," Obama will say, according to an excerpt from his prepared remarks.

For the past several years, Obama has proposed closing what he calls tax loopholes used by multinational firms, including those restricting the use of foreign tax credits, and preventing companies from deferring taxes on income earned abroad.

Although these ideas have the support of some Democrats, they generally landed with a thump in Congress, where most lawmakers want to tackle reforms to the voluminous U.S. tax code in one fell swoop.

The Obama administration had been drafting revisions to just the corporate side of the tax code but largely abandoned the effort over the past year after complaints that the tax code needs a massive overhaul and that many businesses file as individuals. (Reporting By Caren Bohan and Kim Dixon; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

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Filed by Reuters  |