The rate and formula of a new tax on foreign profits aren’t specified in the president’s plan, but the proposal could have multibillion-dollar implications for multinationals. Their lobbyists are noticing.

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NEW YORK — On the last page of a nine-page tax plan that calls for slashing business rates, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans proposed a little-noticed, brand-new tax that may hit companies like Apple, Pfizer and Microsoft.

It’s contained in one sentence: “To prevent companies from shifting profits to tax havens, the framework includes rules to protect the U.S. tax base by taxing at a reduced rate and on a global basis the foreign profits of U.S. multinational corporations.”

The rate and formula aren’t specified, but that lone sentence carries multibillion-dollar implications for multinationals. Their lobbyists are noticing.

Proposing a new tax on U.S. companies’ foreign profits “is appalling,” said Ken Kies of Federal Policy Group, whose clients include General Electric and Microsoft. “The whole point of this tax reform was to make U.S. corporations more competitive. It’s going to do the opposite.”

Trump and congressional leaders buoyed U.S. stocks and seized national attention last week as they released a broad tax plan that would cut the corporate rate to 20 percent from 35 percent while also cutting rates for pass-through businesses and individuals.

Details of those proposals remain sketchy — but there’s even less clarity around the plan for revamping international corporate taxes. As specifics begin to emerge, including at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, opposition may increase.

It’s not all bad news for multinationals. On the positive side, the framework would allow them to bring back to the U.S., or repatriate, years’ worth of foreign earnings after paying a low tax rate — perhaps 10 percent — on them.

And even the new minimum foreign tax might not be as bad as it could have been. Four tax experts told Bloomberg News the framework’s wording suggests that despite the tax’s goal, multinationals will be able to keep using sophisticated tax-winnowing techniques and tax havens. While they may still face billions of dollars in new tax payments, it won’t be as bad as it could have been for them thanks to one word in the framework’s language: “global.”

Trump and Congress haven’t specified the minimum rate. One number batted around in recent weeks is 10 percent, said Kathleen Ferrell, a tax partner at law firm Davis Polk. Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a former tax partner at Ropes & Gray, said that 15 percent might be more likely.

It’s also unclear from the brief description in the framework how the tax would work. But here’s a general idea: Congress would set a low tax rate — say 15 percent — that would serve as a minimum rate for companies on their offshore subsidiaries’ earnings. Any multinational that paid more than that minimum to foreign governments wouldn’t owe the tax in the U.S. But if a company’s overseas taxes fell below the minimum — a sign that it made heavy use of tax havens — the company would pay the U.S. the difference.

But because the framework says the new tax would apply “on a global basis,” it wouldn’t be as tough on companies as it might have been — or as past Republican tax proposals have been, experts said.

“Companies will double down on tax-planning technologies to create a stream of zero-tax income that brings their average down to that minimum rate,” said Edward Kleinbard, a tax-law professor and former chief of staff for Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

The word “global” means that the minimum tax would be calculated worldwide — an aggregate approach that would account for high-tax countries like Germany along with tax havens. In 2014, former Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, had recommended using a “country-by-country” approach, levying the minimum foreign tax in each case where a company used a tax haven.

The difference is significant. Say a company reports $100 of pretax profit through a subsidiary in Bermuda, which has no corporate tax, and $100 through a subsidiary in India, where the rate for foreign companies is 40 percent. That’s a global average rate of 20 percent — above the potential 15 percent at which the new minimum tax would kick in. So under a global approach, the company wouldn’t owe any minimum foreign tax in the U.S. By contrast, on a country-by-country basis, the company would owe $15 on the Bermuda profits.

Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an adviser to the Alliance for Competitive Taxation, whose members include Eli Lily & Co., Exxon Mobil, General Electric and Google, said companies “firmly oppose” the tax.