WASHINGTON Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will propose a jobs plan to cut corporate taxes, reduce federal regulations and get tough against China on trade.
In a column set to appear in Tuesday's USA TODAY newspaper, the former Massachusetts governor said his plan would consist of 59 proposals, including 10 that he would introduce on his first day in office.
Romney will release his jobs plan in Nevada on Tuesday.
"I will pare back regulation, including eliminating 'ObamaCare,'" Romney said, using the derogatory term favored by critics of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.
"I will direct every government agency to limit annual increases in regulatory costs to zero," he said. "Every one of President Obama's regulations must be scrutinized, and those that unduly burden job creation must be axed."
Romney, the one-time leader in the Republican 2012 race, has fallen behind Texas Governor Rick Perry in opinion polls in the battle for the nomination to challenge Obama next year.
Romney will release his jobs plan two days before Obama presents his own job-creation proposal to a joint session of Congress.
The August labor report released on Friday showed employment growth ground to a halt last month and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent.
In the column, Romney said he would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers, and reduce a corporate tax rate that he said leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage.
"Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation," he said.
NO SURRENDER ON TRADE
He also said he would create a "Reagan Economic Zone," a partnership among countries committed to free enterprise and free trade, that could serve as a mechanism for confronting nations that violate trade rules. He said he would use the zone against China.
"I will not stand by while China pursues an economic development policy that relies on the unfair treatment of U.S. companies and the theft of their intellectual property. I have no interest in starting a trade war with China, but I cannot accept our current trade surrender," he said.
Romney said Obama had severely restricted domestic energy production, and he would remedy that by tapping "to the fullest extent" nuclear resources and reserves in oil, gas and coal.
"We are an energy-rich country that, thanks to environmental extremism, has chosen to live like an energy-poor country. That has to end," he said.
He also pledged to dramatically slash the federal budget and cap government spending. He said he would support a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
"Our country has arrived at a fork in the road. In one direction lies the heavy hand of the state, indebtedness and decline," he said.
"In the other direction lies limited government, free enterprise and economic growth. I know which direction is the American way."
(Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Xavier Briand)