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FedEx CEO Challenges New York Times Publisher To Public Debate

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FedEx Corp. Chairman and CEO Fred Smith issued a challenge to the New York Times for publishing a "distorted and factually incorrect" story regarding corporate tax payments by the package delivery giant.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that FedEx had lobbied for a reduction in corporate taxes when Donald Trump won the presidential election. However, the company has not made good on its promised investment surge from the tax cuts, according to the report.

The report added that after President Trump signed into law the $1.5 trillion tax cut, FedEx reaped big savings that brought its effective tax rate from 34 percent in fiscal year 2017 to less than zero in fiscal year 2018.

However, FedEx did not increase investment in new equipment and other assets in the fiscal year that followed, like CEO Smith had said he would, the NYT reported.

In response to the NYT report, Smith challenged the New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger and its business section editor to a public debate in Washington, DC.

"The focus of the debate should be federal tax policy and the relative societal benefits of business investments and the enormous intended benefits to the United States economy, especially lower and middle class wage earners. I look forward to promptly hearing from Mr. Sulzberger and scheduling this open event to bring further public awareness of the facts related to these important issues," Smith said.

He also accused the New York Times of paying zero federal income tax in 2017 on earnings of $111 million, and paying only $30 million in 2018, which is 18 percent of its pretax book income.

Smith alleged that in 2018, the New York Times cut their capital investments almost by half to $57 million, when compared to the $6 billion of capital that FedEx invested in the U.S. economy during the same year.

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