Morneau Will Respond to U.S. Tax Cuts in Nov. 21 Budget Update

(Bloomberg) -- Finance Minister Bill Morneau will present a fiscal update next month amid calls from Canadian businesses to keep them competitive by matching U.S. corporate tax cuts.

Morneau’s update will come Nov. 21, he told lawmakers Thursday. The minister said he’s heard concerns from businesses about trade uncertainty; about barriers to accessing markets, particularly for oil; and about President Donald Trump’s tax changes.

“Those are measures that we’re looking at carefully,” Morneau told reporters outside the Ottawa legislature. “The objective is to make sure that we have the ability for Canadian businesses and international businesses to continue investing in projects in Canada in a way that ensures that we have jobs.”

He declined to detail his plans, including whether or not he had ruled out any cut to the benchmark corporate income tax rate. “I’m looking forward to having much more to say on Nov. 21,” he said.

Morneau has said for months he’s looking for targeted ways to aid business competitiveness after the U.S. cut corporate tax rates, but has avoided a commitment to a broad-based reduction. Canadian companies have also been under strain this year after Trump threatened to kill a North American free trade agreement and imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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