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Speaker Ryan defends Comey firing in Racine at InSinkErator appearance

(AP) — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan used a stop in his Wisconsin district on Thursday to promote House Republicans' tax plan and defend President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

In a visit to a garbage disposal manufacturer, Ryan said cutting taxes would better position manufacturers, such as Emerson's InSinkErator, to compete globally.

"What we're trying to do is fix our tax laws so that it always makes sense to make things in America and sell them, not just here, but all over the world," Ryan said.

Ryan and other House Republicans want to scrap the 35 percent tax on corporate profits and replace it with what they call a "border-adjustment tax."

U.S. companies that produce and sell their products in this country would pay a new 20 percent tax on the profits. However, if a company exports a product, the profits from that sale would not be taxed by the U.S. Foreign companies that import goods to the U.S. would also have to pay the tax.

The proposal, which has both supporters and critics among Republicans lawmakers, could help American workers and exporters who are struggling to compete against low-wage workers in other countries. However, it could also drive up prices for imported goods, including automobiles, consumer electronics, oil — and therefore gasoline — and everyday retail items.

Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, unveiled plans to invest $63 million in its InSinkErator southeast Wisconsin operations, including $34 million for a new headquarters and lab facility in Mount Pleasant and $29 million for improvements at a manufacturing facility in Racine. InSinkErator is one of the world's largest manufacturer of garbage disposals and instant hot water dispensers.

Ryan later answered questions about Trump's decision to fire Comey and the investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign. He maintained that the investigation should remain with the FBI and not with a special prosecutor.

In response to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe's testimony before a Senate committee in Washington Thursday that Comey "enjoyed broad support within the FBI," Ryan countered that Comey had lost the support of senior leadership at the Justice Department.

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