01:55 GMT04 April 2020
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    The talks, which are reportedly on in the White House, may serve a solid acknowledgement that US companies have already been hurt by the new virus outbreak – even more so, since the stocks of major transportation companies are on a downward trend.

    The Trump administration is allegedly floating the option of tax breaks for the travel and tourism industry as the coronavirus continues to rage, The Washington Post reported citing unnamed people briefed on the matter.

    The talks “remain fluid and are preliminary", the edition pointed out. The tax deferrals for businesses, including airlines, hotels and cruise ventures, are reportedly being considered as airlines cut back on travel destinations and report declines in ticket sales, as slews of events “from San Francisco to Chicago to Austin to Miami” are being postponed or cancelled altogether.

    The said industry is suffering its worst downturn since the 9/11 terror attacks, WaPo noted, further suggesting that it is not clear in exactly what way such tax relief would be administered and what specific countries would be beneficiaries.

    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed Friday that the administration is considering “timely and targeted” federal measures to help workers, businesses, and industries that are most vulnerable economically to the coronavirus flare-ups.

    “Perhaps on a large scale, some of the sectors might need some temporary assistance", Kudlow told Fox Business, adding though that “we don’t want to act prematurely".

    While there are largely no restrictions on domestic travel in countries other than China, the outbreak has harmed global markets – from finances and oil to commodities, with Dow Jones transportation averages prompting bearish predictions. For the time being, United Airlines and American Airlines stocks are down about 40 percent this year, while Delta Air Lines has dipped roughly 20 percent.

    Fresh data suggests that since late last year, COVID-19 has infected more than 100,000 people and caused over 3,400 deaths, largely in mainland China. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over the coronavirus epidemic.


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