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Feb.09, 2015

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4 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE Editor's Letter Mark Szakonyi IN HIS JAN. 20 State of the Union address, President Obama again called for dramatically improving U.S. infrastructure and receiving expanded powers to finalize two major trade pacts. His chances of getting the latter before he leaves office in less than two years are far better than passing an infra - structure plan that he says would "create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come." That's because Obama's infra- structure push is tied to corporate tax reform, an effort that hasn't gained much traction on Capitol Hill. The president's State of the Union pitch to expand tax reform beyond the business sector by giving middle class tax breaks and tax hikes to the rich and corporations only hurts the odds of such reform. To the average American, the idea of "closing loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profit abroad" and using "those sav- ings to rebuild our infrastructure" seems like a slam-duck, but those on the Hill know it's anything but. Sponsored by Reps. John Del- aney, D-Md., and Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., the legislation titled Partner- ship to Build America Act attempts to do just as its name implies, but still hasn't passed Congress. That's largely because the idea of giving corporations a "repatriation tax hol- iday" in exchange for them buying bonds in an infrastructure bank still riles tax purists. The Oba ma administ rat ion remains opposed to the sure-shot way to bridge the gap between federal revenue for construction and surface infrastructure plans: raising the fuels tax for the first time since 1993. That opposition might fade if Congress actually sent Obama a bill that hiked the tax, but that's highly unlikely. After all, even though some Republican congressional leaders in recent weeks have expressed will- ingness to consider a fuels tax hike, those of us who remember past run- ups to highway bill authorizations know that "everything is on the table" until it's off again when real decisions must be made. That doesn't mean Obama can't make some inroads into improving the nation's freight infrastructure. The administration in January proposed a new class of municipal bonds aimed at attracting private investment for air- ports, seaports, mass transit and other projects. Still, such public-private part- nership efforts only stretch fed- eral funding, and don't prov ide the more robust stream needed. P r o s p e c t s a re bet ter for Congress giving O b a m a t r a d e promotion authority so he can final- ize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves 11 countries, and the Transatlantic Trade and Invest - ment Partnership with the European Union. Republican leaders support trade promotion authority, so the deciding factor is how well the admin- istration can make its case to skeptics in his own party who are fearful of more U.S. jobs being outsourced. "Look, I'm the first one to admit that past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype, and that's why we've gone after countries that break the rules at our expense," Obama said in his State of the Union address. "But 95 percent of the world's cus- tomers live outside our borders, and we can't close ourselves off from those opportunities." JOC A Fair Trade? The Journal of Commerce (USPS 279 – 060), ISSN 1530-7557, February 9, 2015, Volume 16, Issue No. 3. The Journal of Commerce is published bi-weekly except the last week in December (printed 26 times per year) by JOC Group Inc. 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105. Subscription price: $344 a year. Periodicals postage paid at Newark, N.J., and additional mailing offices. © All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Journal of Commerce, Subscription Services Department, 2 Penn Plaza East, Floor 12, Newark, N.J. 07105-2257. FEBRUARY 9.2015 EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND JOC EVENTS Chris Brooks 973.776.7818 MANAGING EDITOR Barbara Wyker 973.776.7817 ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR, JOC.COM Mark Szakonyi, 202.251.7069 SENIOR EDITORS Joseph Bonney, Finance and Economics 973.776.7809 William B. Cassidy, Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202.251.9289 Bill Mongelluzzo, Trans-Pacific 562.428.5999 Greg Knowler, Asia +852 3975 2647 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Reynolds Hutchins 202.572.1487 EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter T. Leach, Trans-Atlantic 212.755.0940 RESEARCH EDITOR Marsha Salisbury 973.776.7828 ECONOMIST Mario O. Moreno 973.776.7850 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Alessandra Gregory Barrett 860.248.5238 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR, ASIA Annie Zhu +86 (21) 60396986 SENIOR DESIGNER Sue Abt, 973.776.7825 DESIGNER Bryan Boyd, 973.776.7827 PUBLISHER Tony Stein 770.295.8809, SALES Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954.551.8305 Zachary Gorman, Account Executive Northeast sales, Classifieds/Reprints/Copyrights 973.776.7820 Jennifer Mallinger, Account Executive Midwest, West Coast sales, 630.210.6827 Ria Van den Bogaert, Sales Representative Europe, Middle East sales, +32 2 569 8905 Bon Kwok, Sales Representative Asia sales, +852 31707373 Michihiro Kawahara, Sales Representative Japan sales, +81 3 3212 3671 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105 973.776.8660 • 800.952.3839 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Gavin Carter CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, Rhiannon James EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, Peter Tirschwell CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, Ian Blackman VP, PUBLICATIONS, Amy Middlebrook VP, HUMAN RESOURCES, Cindy Mevorah GENERAL MANAGER, Julia Murphy DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION, Carmen Verenna SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER, Jesse Case ©2015 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website, "95 percent of the world's customers live outside our borders, and we can't close ourselves off from those opportunities.

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