On August 31, 2018, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Department of Labor (DOL) and Treasury Department to take action to “promote retirement security for America’s workers” by, among other things, expanding access to Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs).  Specifically, within 180 days of the issuance of the Executive Order, DOL must “consider…whether to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, other guidance, or both, that would clarify when a group or association of employers…
On September 30, 2018, the US, Mexico and Canada announced the successful conclusion of talks to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains a number of chapters not included in the original deal, including sections on digital commerce, currency policies and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Other standard chapters – such as Intellectual Property, Rules of Origin, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures – have also been updated to reflect the…
At two o’clock in the morning on Saturday December 2, 2017, the Senate took another major step towards accomplishing comprehensive tax reform – on a near party line vote, it passed its version of the most sweeping legislation to overhaul the US Tax Code in a generation. Although Republicans have made significant progress on tax reform – at lightning speed – they still have more work to do before the bill becomes law. This week,…
The November 9 release of the Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Mark has put into high gear the race to complete once-in-a-generation tax reform. A mere five hours after the House Ways and Means Committee completed a four-day markup and voted its legislation out of Committee along party lines (further discussed here), Senate Republicans released their “conceptual draft,” which they plan to markup on Monday, November 13. Senate Republicans hope to vote on the bill…
It’s here! House Republicans have released the legislative text of the most serious effort to reform the US Tax Code since 1986. Republican tax-writers have come a long way from the “Blueprint” and the “Unified Framework” – they have offcially broken ground on sweeping tax reform legislation titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Bill). Although they have made significant progress, Congress still has more work to do to pass a bill by their proclaimed end-of year target. On the other…
Late last night, the US Senate voted 51 to 50 to repeal a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule prohibiting class action waivers in arbitration agreements. All but two Republicans (Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Kennedy (LA)) voted to repeal the CFPB’s arbitration rule, while all Democrats voted against repeal. Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 tie. In July, the House also voted to repeal the CFPB arbitration rule. President Trump is expected…
“Overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels.” -Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2015[1] Opioid abuse in the United States has been a topic of much discussion in recent years, but the problem continues to grow.  Since 1999, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths has quadrupled.[2]  In a single year from 2014 to 2015, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths increased by over 15 percent.…
As you will recall, earlier this year, President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring the Department of Treasury to identify regulations issued during the last year of the Obama Administration that would increase burdens on taxpayers and impede economic growth.  After identifying eight such regulations in an interim report released in June, Treasury last week issued a follow-up report with specific recommended actions. Final and Temporary Regulations under Section 385 on the Treatment of Certain…
Following the publication of the Tax Reform Framework, members of our Tax Strategy & Benefits team sat down to discuss the key policy announcements and consider what is likely to happen next and the possible ramifications for businesses in the US and around the world. We have recorded their conversation as a podcast. The panel, drawing on our global tax policy and transactional expertise, comprises: Linda Pfatteicher, managing partner, Tax Strategy & Benefits, San…
With Congress back in session following its August recess, one agenda item stands above the rest in terms of priority: tax reform. After several failed attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, and with few other major achievements nearly nine months into the 115th Congress, Republicans are in need of a win and hoping it might come in the form of reforming the nation’s tax laws. Still, there remain many obstacles that…