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Morning Brief: Deal Reached on Payroll Tax Cut

by Jonathan Masters
February 15, 2012

Washington lawmakers reached a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut (NYT) currently set to expire at the end of the month. The negotiated settlement would also extend unemployment benefits and prevent a large reduction in reimbursements for Medicare doctors. A vote on the bill is expected by Friday, when Congress adjourns for recess.

Debt and deficits. Read more from experts on the challenges in reducing U.S. debt.

International Trade and Investment

China’s Yuan Becomes Less of Target in Trade Policy

Having risen steadily against the dollar in recent years, the yuan is becoming less of a political target in U.S. trade policy. In the eyes of trade negotiators, the issue of currency manipulation may be eclipsed by more serious problems such as China’s move to implement a number of policies in recent years that protect its growing domestic market from foreign competition, while boosting Chinese companies (LATimes).

This CFR Policy Innovation Memorandum, “Fostering Greater Chinese Investment in the United States,” looks at what the United States should be doing to attract greater foreign investment from China.

International trade and investment. Read more from leading analysts on the debate over next steps in U.S. trade policy.

Education and Human Capital

White House Budget Emphasizes Vocational Training

The president’s 2013 budget proposed $69.8 billion for education overall, a 2.5 percent increase from last year. Some $8 billion of the funds would go toward training two million workers in high-demand fields such as high-tech manufacturing, clean energy, and healthcare. The program known the Community College to Career Fund aims to establish partnerships between two-year colleges and local businesses (Reuters).

Education and human capital. Read more from experts discussing ways to improve U.S. education and immigration policies.

Corporate Regulation and Taxation

The White House and Corporate Tax Reform

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Congress the Obama administration will put out its plan for corporate tax reform (CNN) in the coming weeks, though he stressed it will not be a detailed legislative proposal. The White House, Geithner said, will be pushing broad principles with the hope of finding common ground on this issue.

In this CFR meeting transcript, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Stone Point Capital Chairman Stephen Friedman discuss rebooting the American economy and global economic challenges with a particular focus on trade policy and corporate taxation.

Corporate regulation and taxation. Read more from top economists and business experts on solutions for addressing corporate tax reform.

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