By Sam Schechner
DAVOS, Switzerland--The prospect of lower U.S. corporate tax rates and scaled-back regulations is tempering businesses' worries about global political uncertainty, International Business Machines Corp. Chief Executive Ginni Rometty said Thursday.
The possibility of more nationalistic trade policies in the U.K. and U.S. has cast a shadow over 2017's World Economic Forum, but Ms. Rometty said pro-business promises from the incoming administration of Donald Trump were getting a warm reception from CEOs.
"Any time when you make it easier to do business, that's good," said Ms. Rometty, who is part of a business-policy advisory group for the new administration.
"In a results-oriented government, there are many things that everyone's looking forward to seeing progress on."
Many executives this week said they had high hopes for lower U.S. tax rates, designed in part to encourage companies to repatriate some $2.5 trillion in cash that has been held overseas.
Ms. Rometty made the case, echoed by other corporate leaders, that any U.S. tax changes should be permanent, rather than a one-time tax holiday for repatriated cash.
Tax policy should be "consistent for a long period of time," Ms. Rometty said.
"Many people have long cycles to plan. And you really have to have assurance that that's going to be the policy in place."
Anti-globalization sentiment, reflected in the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union and the election of Mr. Trumpin the U.S., stems in part, Ms Rometty said, from people feeling locked out of technological progress. She said that governments and businesses needed to focus on creating vocational training and retraining programs for displaced workers.
"Some people are feeling time has left them behind," Ms. Rometty said. She added that 2017 should be "an inflection point around the world for how we're going to look at education."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 19, 2017 06:06 ET (11:06 GMT)
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