Trump said tax cuts would bring $4 trillion back to America. Just 3.5 percent of that has returned.

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

President Trump said last year that more than $4 trillion in foreign profits would return to the U.S. as a result of the GOP tax reform that was passed in December 2017. So far, just $143 billion has been repatriated, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The Republican tax bill eliminated taxes for U.S. companies that bring home profits made abroad. Some companies have said the tax prevented them from repatriating those profits because they wanted to avoid that additional cost. "We expect to have in excess of $4 trillion brought back very shortly," Trump said last year. "Close to $5 trillion will be brought back into our country. This is money that would never, ever be seen again by the workers and the people of our country."

But an analysis by the Journal found that the new one-time tax on foreign profits and removal of future federal taxes hasn't led to a sudden boom in repatriations. Out of the 108 public companies that hold the vast majority of an estimated $2.7 trillion in foreign profit, just a handful have made substantial efforts to bring money back to the U.S.

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While repatriations are much higher this year, The Daily Beast notes that the rate so far is just 3.5 percent of what Trump predicted. Companies have announced plans to repatriate an additional $37 billion, still falling well short of an amended $3.9 trillion prediction from the White House. The majority of foreign cash returned to the U.S. has gone toward share buybacks rather than investments, the Federal Reserve found. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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Summer Meza

Summer is news editor at, and has previously written for Newsweek and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Santa Clara University, she now lives in New York with two cats.