LAWRENCE, Mass. — The Latest on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s visit to Massachusetts to talk tax reform (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is pitching Republican plans for overhauling the nation’s tax code at a shoe factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as demonstrators outside protest GOP efforts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health law.

Ryan delivered a stinging indictment of the current tax code, calling it inefficient, unfair and too complicated. He said the tax code puts businesses at a disadvantage against foreign competitors and overwhelms families who can’t fill out their own tax forms.

Ryan said Republicans are working to simplify the tax code by eliminating exemptions, deductions and credits and using the revenue to lower tax rates.

Ryan spoke after he toured New Balance’s sneaker factory. Outside, more than 100 demonstrators chanted: “Health care for all” and “No hate. No fear. Paul Ryan is not welcome here.”


10:50 a.m.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is heading to Massachusetts to talk taxes.

The Republican leader from Wisconsin is scheduled to tour a New Balance sneaker factory Thursday in Lawrence, a gritty city north of Boston near the New Hampshire border.

While there, he’s expected to give an update on proposed tax reforms being hammered out in Washington by Republican leaders in Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration.

Ryan also will participate in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders.

Republicans have made overhauling the nation’s tax system a top priority. They’re also looking to reset after this week’s failed attempt to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Boston-based New Balance employs more than 6,000 people. It operates five factories in New England and one in the United Kingdom.