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12 Mar, 2020 01:44

Trump says $200bn in tax relief, low-interest loans among new financial stimulus measures to soften coronavirus impact

Trump says $200bn in tax relief, low-interest loans among new financial stimulus measures to soften coronavirus impact

The Trump administration will take “unprecedented” action to give financial relief to Americans affected by the coronavirus, ordering tax exemptions for those infected or under quarantine, as well as low-interest loans for firms.

The measures include instructing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide capital and liquidity to any firms impacted by the outbreak, as well as tax relief he said would inject some $200 billion of liquidity into the US economy.

“Effectively immediately, the SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories,” Trump said in a national address on Wednesday night, while also asking Congress to increase funding for the program by $50 billion. “These low-interest loans will help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus.”

The president also called on Congress to approve “immediate payroll tax relief,” and said arrangements would soon be made to allocate aid for sickened workers who are forced to take time off work, as well as those caring for infected individuals.

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The measures come in addition to an $8.3 billion emergency aid package signed into law last Friday, which provides funding for research into treatments and vaccines, and offers federal funds for states to help with prevention and containment efforts.

After meetings earlier this week, major health insurance companies agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments and extend coverage, the president said, adding that the administration is now “cutting through massive amounts of red tape” to fast-track antiviral therapies.

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