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Grassley worries that taxing stock transactions would result in job losses

Agriculture.com Staff 12/08/2009 @ 12:54pm

A proposed tax on stock and derivatives transactions drew skepticism Tuesday from the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Grassley said he hasn't read the proposed bill, which has been introduced in the House. Grassley's fellow Iowan in the Senate, Democrat Tom Harkin, plans to introduce similar legislation.

Grassley said the central bankers in Europe have urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to support taxes on securities trades, which Geithner has resisted because it might make U.S. exchanges less competitive globally.

Grassley wouldn't say that he agrees with Geithner, the former head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank who has been pilloried in Congress for his closeness to Wall Street.

But he said that he has always been against legislation that makes the U.S. less competitive in global markets and he, too, worries that the bill could hurt the U.S. financial services industry.

"If the United States did it by itself, it would ship a lot of jobs out of the United Sates," Grassley said.

Harkin said last week that Britain already has a securities tax that is higher than the 0.25% tax being proposed by Democrats in Congress. And Britain's stock trading hasn't been hurt by the tax, he said.

The House bill, called the "Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act," would also apply a tax of .02% on commodity futures trades.

A proposed tax on stock and derivatives transactions drew skepticism Tuesday from the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

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