Economic Opportunity for All

Senator Wyden is focused on creating good-paying middle-class jobs in Oregon, boosting wages for Oregon families, and leveling the playing field for Oregon’s small businesses. Wyden uses his leadership on the Finance Committee to give a leg up to families walking an economic tightrope and develop innovative ways to grow our economy from the middle out. Whether it’s in tax or trade, Wyden has a long track record of pursuing real bipartisan solutions that put workers and families first.

Tax Reform  

Every American knows our tax laws are outdated and unfair. It’s really a tale of two tax codes. High-fliers who can afford well-heeled lobbyists and crafty accountants pay what they want, when they want. Meanwhile, middle class Oregonians see their taxes come right out of their paychecks. For over a decade, Senator Wyden has been a champion of bipartisan tax reform that would clean the special interest junk out of the tax code and let the middle class and small businesses get ahead.

Senator Wyden is the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the entire federal tax code. As the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, Wyden led the fight against the partisan tax scam that Republicans jammed through Congress at the end of 2017. This new tax law is raising taxes on millions of middle-class families and showering hundreds of billions in benefits on multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas. It is also double taxing Oregon families by limiting the state and local tax deduction, which helps fund schools, hire police, and run hospitals.

Senator Wyden also uses his leadership on the Finance Committee to hold the Trump Administration accountable. He is the sponsor of legislation that would require presidents and presidential candidates to release their tax returns, in keeping with the 40-year tradition of presidential tax transparency. He led the fight in the Senate against the nomination of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who broke his promise that tax reform would not slash taxes for the wealthiest and misled the Finance Committee about his predatory lending practices during the recession. 

As part of his commitment to finding common sense ways to create good-paying middle-class jobs, Wyden has authored two bipartisan tax reform bills, most recently with former Senator and current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. He has introduced a series of tax reform bills and discussion drafts that would expand and streamline energy tax incentives, radically simplify the complex cost recovery system used by businesses, stop the tax avoidance games played with convoluted financial products, and encourage retirement savings among working families and recent college graduates. Wyden co-authored the bipartisan PATH Act of 2015 that extended critical tax breaks for families, clean energy, and small businesses. He is also the leader of bipartisan legislation that would permanently overhaul the outdated excise tax and regulatory regime faced by the craft brew industry in Oregon and across the country.

Trade  

As the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, Senator Wyden fought to ensure America’s ability to compete in a free and fair global marketplace.

Securing Tough Trade Enforcement and Help for American Workers Harmed by Trade

As Chair of the key Trade Subcommittee, a Wyden led the investigation exposing widespread merchandise laundering. Senator Wyden set up a “sting” operation that included his staff posing as buyers of industrial goods from China. This sting operation caught Chinese sellers demonstrating how they could cheat by evading U.S. duties that are in place specifically to address the cheating that harms our workers. With this information, Senator Wyden authored the bipartisan "Enforce Act" to give Customs and Border Protection new tools to enable U.S. trade enforcers to stop companies from skirting trade rules. He led efforts to pass the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which included “Enforce Act” provisions and additional improvements to U.S. law that help companies get relief from unfair trade when they need it. He also helped lead efforts in the Senate in 2015 to pass bipartisan legislation to extend and expand benefits for Americans harmed by unfair trade. 

Boosting Made-in-America Exports

He has also championed efforts to create new opportunities for Made-in-America goods and services by eliminating trade barriers overseas in a wide range of sectors. He backed successful negotiations to expand the WTO Information Technology Agreement to eliminate barriers to trade in advanced semiconductors and other high tech products, and helped launch new international talks to eliminate tariffs on trade in environmentally friendly technologies.

Extending Partnerships with Developing Countries. He led efforts to secure opportunities for American small businesses and others by extending U.S. trade programs for developing countries, including special programs designed to encourage trade with Africa, which he championed as part of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.

Accountability and Transparency

Senator Wyden is also holding the Administration accountable for its many promises on trade, by pressing for real results for American workers and companies rather than empty rhetoric. Whether addressing the serious challenges posed by China’s trade tactics, or helping oversee the Administration’s NAFTA talks to ensure they produce meaningful results for Americans, Senator Wyden has led efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Administration’s trade policies. He co-authored and helped pass bipartisan legislation that enhanced transparency requirements for the U.S. Trade Representative to follow when negotiating trade agreements, as part of the Bipartisan Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. He also sponsored legislation to require disclosure of Presidential assets and liabilities associated with foreign trading partners subject to U.S. trade actions, including trade negotiations.

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