For 175 years, our home has been here in Wisconsin. Since J.I. Case laid down roots in Racine County in 1842, CNH Industrial has continued to grow its manufacturing, service support and banking operations, widening the reputation of Southeast Wisconsin as a global presence in the capital goods sector. Today, we directly employ 1,800 people in the state and our operations are supplied with goods and services from over 650 companies, both large and small, within the state.
At our Racine manufacturing plant, we produce Case IH and New Holland brand agricultural tractors and drivelines. It is one of the largest tractor plants in the world, producing some of our most sophisticated farming equipment. Over 50 percent of our Racine tractors are exported worldwide and each time we grow, we look forward to hiring more members of Wisconsin’s first-class workforce.
When our business succeeds, we can play a bigger role in supporting the state’s economy and helping the people of Wisconsin thrive. For example, when we acquired a new business from the Miller family in St. Nazianz several years ago to produce self-propelled agricultural sprayers, we felt fortunate to extend our reach to a new community in Wisconsin and increase our investments in the state.
However, the United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and workers feel that directly. Studies have shown workers bear up to 75 percent of the cost of a high corporate tax rate. By implementing reforms that lower the corporate rate and encourage capital investment, companies such as ours will be able to boost investment here in the state, positively impacting not only our own employees, but also the numerous local suppliers that serve our operations. Workers will also see the benefit by being able to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks for their own investment decisions, such as housing and education for their families. Many of Wisconsin’s families have been lifted by the economic recovery, but it has not been enough. It is time for tax reform that puts prosperity within the reach of all working families, not just some.
With a tax code that hasn’t been updated in more than three decades, reform is long overdue. Reforming the tax code will equip the nation’s job creators with the tools they need to be catalysts for economic growth with the resulting increase in capital spending, investment and hiring. We are faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put the USA and Wisconsin on a level playing field with the rest of the world and I am confident lawmakers will deliver. Workers and business owners all across Wisconsin are counting on it.
That is why I am so encouraged by the momentum for tax reform that I see in Washington. While often the activities of federal lawmakers can feel distant, tax reform is one policy that will affect real, positive change in the lives of families here in our communities. Fortunately, with legislation having passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, progress is being made. In particular, we commend our very own House Speaker Paul Ryan for showing great leadership and committing to such hard work on this issue. I hope lawmakers will continue the push to bring this across the finish line, helping spur growth and opportunity for millions of Americans.