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Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Nike and Amazon Should Be Hit With Higher Tax Rate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has blasted three major corporate behemoths in the push for a corporate tax hike.

In an interview today with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the Massachusetts Democrat — who is a member of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Banking Committee — called out sportswear brand Nike, e-commerce giant Amazon and delivery firm FedEx. She explained that such companies — as well as other big corporations — should pay taxes at a higher rate than present.

“What’s happening right now in America is: These small businesses, they pay their taxes at the full rate. They got to pay the whole thing,” Warren said. “You look at businesses like FedEx and Nike, businesses like Amazon — and they pay zero. Right now, there’s a thumb on the scale in the tax part of this, and that is a thumb to help the giants.”

Corporate tax breaks have long been a hot-button issue — further amplified in recent weeks following President Joe Biden’s proposal to raise taxes on America’s largest companies. As part of his Made in America Tax Plan, the administration seeks to raise the corporate rate to 28% from 21%. The provision, which would pay for the president’s proposed $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, would “reward investment at home, stop profit shifting and ensure other nations won’t gain a competitive edge by becoming tax havens.”

Early this month, a study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy suggested that 55 U.S.-based companies — including Nike and FedEx — did not pay corporate income taxes in their most recent fiscal year despite reporting sizable pretax profits. According to the think tank, the Swoosh didn’t pay federal income tax on about $2.9 billion of pretax income last year, but it received a rebate of $109 million. What’s more, the courier zeroed out its federal income tax on $1.2 billion of pretax income in 2020, while receiving a rebate of $230 million.

“This continues a decades-long trend of corporate tax avoidance by the biggest U.S. corporations, and it appears to be the product of long-standing tax breaks preserved or expanded by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as the CARES Act tax breaks enacted in the spring of 2020,” read a statement from ITEP at the time.

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