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SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug 30 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump turned his populist rhetoric to tax reform on Wednesday, calling for "pro-American" business tax cuts as a way to create jobs and telling Congress that it needs to deliver.
Speaking at a manufacturing company in Springfield, Missouri, Trump called on Democrats to join his tax overhaul effort but offered few specifics.
"We must reduce the tax rate on American businesses so they keep jobs in America, create jobs in America and compete for workers right here in America," Trump said in his first presidential speech specifically on tax reform, one of his key 2016 campaign issues.
Both congressional Democrats and Republicans say tax reform is needed but the Republican goal of enacting legislation this year faces an uphill battle in Congress, which has already failed to deliver on healthcare reform sought by Trump.
"I don't want to be disappointed by Congress. Do you understand me?" Trump said to cheers. "I think Congress is going to make a comeback, I hope so. I'll tell you what, the United States is counting on it."
There has been no comprehensive overhaul of the tax code since 1986.
Trump set out four tax reform principles: simplicity, a competitive tax code, tax relief for the middle class and international corporate tax reform.
He has called for slashing the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent. "Ideally ... we would like to bring our business tax rate down to 15 percent," he said, adding that cutting it is essential for the nation to regain its competitive edge.
(Reporting by James Oliphant in Springfield, Missouri, and David Morgan in Washington; Writing by David Morgan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)