But his proposal to end an estimated $12 billion annually in corporate tax relief is certain to stir stiff opposition from some of America's largest multinational companies who are currently enjoying those breaks. And private economists questioned whether it would do much to halt the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries.
Speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit, Kerry said his corporate tax proposal was part of a comprehensive economic plan he will put forward in coming weeks to create 10 million jobs during the first four years of a Kerry administration.
The jobs pledge — and the corporate tax changes — were designed to highlight economic issues where polls consistently have shown President Bush is vulnerable: an economic recovery where job growth has lagged badly, the loss of more than 3 million manufacturing jobs — one in six — since mid-2000 and rising anxiety among white-collar workers about the increased "outsourcing" of service jobs to foreign countries.
"I won't tell you that we can bring back every lost industry or protect every current job," Kerry said. "But my plan will enable our economy to create jobs and keep more good jobs here in America."