The CEOs of 17 US companies and trade groups, including Time Warner Cable's Glenn Britt, Viacom's Philippe Dauman, AT&T's Randall Stephenson, Disney's Bob Iger and Verizon's Lowell McAdam sent a letter to lawmakers Fri seeking a reduction of the corporate tax rate as part of any comprehensive tax reform in '13. The companies, all members of the RATE Coalition, said America's 35% statutory corporate tax rate (39.2%, including avg state rates) is the highest in the industrialized world and hinders investment in the US. They pegged the rate for intl competitors at about 25%. “Our coalition understands that this is not an easy proposition, especially given the current fiscal environment. Because of this, our member companies, which span various geographic and industry sectors and represent more than 30mln US jobs, understand that base-broadeners, such as eliminating tax expenditures, may be necessary to achieve the significant reduction in the statutory rate that is required for the US to better compete globally,” said the letter, which was sent to the heads of the House Ways and Means and Sen Finance.