“The bigger game is going to be tax reform. This is just kind of the opening act,” he said. “I’ve made that pretty clear to folks in the industry” that when tax reform gets underway, “we’ll need to look at what we can do to start phasing these things out.”
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who has jurisdiction over U.S. territories as chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said he asked Baucus to save the credit for American Samoa, which has, in the past, subsidized a StarKist tuna cannery that employs more than half the island’s population.
“Samoans are U.S. citizens. This is a U.S. territory,” Bingaman said. “We should not in a casual way take action that would dramatically and adversely affect their economy. If the next Congress thinks there are good and sufficient reasons for doing that, then that’s their business.”
Asked why the Samoan credit was preserved, Baucus said simply: “Jobs.”