An agreement on a minimum corporate tax rate, eased tariffs on European steel and aluminum, a potential revival of paid family and medical leave, the effect of supply chain challenges on advertising, more pessimistic views on the economy, labor woes in the tech sector, feedback on improving Connecticut’s entrepreneurial environment, and action against recreational marijuana businesses in several Connecticut towns are among the top business news items this morning.
President Joe Biden and several other leaders announced at the G20 summit that they have reached an agreement for a 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate in almost every nation in the world to deter businesses from offshoring operations or sheltering profits. The agreement also establishes penalties on holdouts, and is estimated to raise $150 billion in tax revenues globally.
The White House has reached a deal with to ease tariffs on European aluminum and steel imports, which it hopes will help reduce consumer prices and help resolve supply chain problems. The agreement converts the 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum to a tariff rate quota that sets a rate based on import quantity.
While paid family and medical leave was dropped from the framework of a major social policy and environmental bill, supporters expect that it might be revived as a standalone measure. Supporters suggest that while the measure stood little chance of winning bipartisan support as part of a larger measure, it could be negotiated in this way as its own bill.
Some companies are cutting back on their marketing spending as supply chain challenges make it more challenging to provide adequate inventories to customers. Businesses are also questioning the need for more advertising as consumer demand remains strong.
Americans are growing more pessimistic about economic conditions, according to a recent survey from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Only 35 percent of respondents said they consider the economy to be good, down 10 points from September.
Although this year has been marked by several high-profile cyberattacks, tech companies are joining other businesses in naming labor shortages as the main problem they face. The poll by CNBC’s Technology Executive Council found that 57 percent of tech companies said finding qualified workers was their main challenge, with 26 percent citing supply chain issues and 20 percent naming cybersecurity matters.
At a forum hosted by Connecticut Innovations, Governor Ned Lamont heard feedback from entrepreneurs on how to make Connecticut more attractive for businesses. Suggestions included improving commutes and broadband access, college graduate retention efforts, and bringing in a professional sports team.
Several coastal Connecticut town governments have taken steps to ban or restrict recreational marijuana sales in their communities. Clinton has barred sales outright, while three other towns have established temporary bans.