Putting a Stop to BAT

By Americans for Affordable Products, Special for  USDR

Today, a collection of well over 100 businesses and trade associations that represent millions of American jobs announced a new coalition to stop the Border Adjustment Tax or BAT.  Americans for Affordable Products (AAP) will run a national campaign to engage consumers and show lawmakers that pursuing tax policy that will result in higher costs for their customers on everyday items including food, gas and clothing is the wrong  approach.

The BAT is a component of the U.S. House Republican tax reform proposal, and will significantly hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the cost of everyday products by up to 20  percent.

“As a business owner who works every day to add value to my customers and serve the needs of families, I am deeply concerned about the Border Adjustment Tax.  Without question, it will increase prices paid by consumers and threaten the existence of companies like ours.  We need Members of Congress to listen to the urgent objections of small business job creators and stop this giveaway to big corporations at the expense of middle income and working class families,” said Learning Resources, Inc. Chairman Rick  Woldenberg.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro commented, “While well intended, a proposed Border Adjustment Tax could increase prices on a wide range of basic consumer goods, hitting the pocketbooks of middle class Americans.  We urge policymakers to incentivize U.S. manufacturing in ways that don’t hurt the hundreds of thousands of American businesses who employ millions of American  workers.”

“The retail industry pays among the highest effective tax rates of all industries.  We, therefore, enthusiastically support reforming the current tax code and welcome the fact that both the President and Congress do so as well.  However, the Border Adjustment Tax is harmful, untested, and would put American retail jobs at risk and force consumers to pay as much as 20 percent more for family essentials.  We are committed to working with Congress to ensure they understand the impact of this proposal, and to pursue tax reform that reduces rates and benefits American consumers,” stated Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Sandy  Kennedy.

National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay concluded, “Whether it’s the automobile you drive, the gasoline you use, the groceries you put on the table, or the shoes and the clothes you put on your feet and back, the prices of all of those things will get driven up by the Border Adjustment Tax.  Consumers ultimately are the losers from any effort to tax imports because the economy in the United States is driven by consumers.  There are plenty of taxes already on hard working Americans and the retailers that serve them, and higher prices just add to that burden.  We support creating a less complicated, more straightforward and equitable tax code, and will work with both the Administration and Congress to achieve that goal, but the Border Adjustment Tax is not the answer.  Some may consider this a better way forward, but it is definitely not the best  way.”

American consumers oppose a policy that exempts exports from being taxed while taxing imports because of the real-life impact it will have on their everyday lives and household budgets.  For example, according to the NRF, upon passage, the BAT will cost American families as much as  $1,700.

While members of AAP oppose the BAT, they recognize the hard work by Members of Congress to reform the tax code and support provisions such as lowering the overall corporate tax rate and the territorial tax approach, which limits taxes on U.S. companies to income earned only in the United  States.

To learn more about AAP and its supporters, or the BAT, click  here.

Several Key BAT  Opponents:

Trump Campaign Senior Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow: “‘This is an exercise in government planning and complexity that I believe is doomed to fail,’ conservative television commentator Larry Kudlow said of Ryan’s proposal on CNBC last week.  Kudlow helped write Trump’s tax plan … ‘I think the whole corporate tax reform, which is the most important pro-growth measure, will go down the drain over this.'” (Rachael Bade, “How Trump Keeps Trampling On Hill GOP’s Big Plans,” Politico,  1/17/17)

Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips: “Americans for Prosperity will be making the House GOP’s border adjustment plan for tax reform a Rubicon for congressional Republicans to cross at their own risk.  ‘There is a strong disagreement over border adjustment tax, which is really a tariff,’ AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, said in a call with POLITICO.  ‘This is something we’re going to fight tooth and nail.’  How tooth and nail?  Phillips, says the group isn’t ruling out attack ads or backing primary challengers of Republicans who back that sort of proposal, even though the group likes most of the House GOP plan.  ‘We have a history of following up,’ he said, and ‘holding accountable’ members who don’t see eye-to-eye with the group.  AFP’s network members from across the country have already started stopping in to their House members’ offices to lodge their opposition to the provision, Phillips said – going as far as to compare the effort to the group’s fight against Obamacare.  Whether the group will get assistance from Trump – who criticized the House Republican plan recently, before walking it back somewhat – is another question. ‘We certainly hope so,’ Phillips said.  ‘It would harm so many of the people who are the core of his constituency’ … ‘It will take the country and the Republican Party back a century to protectionism and again, tariffs,’ said Phillips, who added that it would lead to a loss of purchasing power for ‘millions of Americans.'” (Bernie Becker, “Mnuchin Unruffled,” Politico Morning Tax,  1/20/17)

Club For Growth President David McIntosh: “House Republicans now have a prime opportunity to undertake corporate tax reform, and they’ve proposed some pro-growth ideas, including rate reductions, incentives for investment, and reform in how purchases are expensed.  Unfortunately, all of that good reform could be wiped out by a separate complicated proposal from the House GOP that amounts to a costly new consumer tax called the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) … It’s another case of Washington creating winners and losers, instead of doing what’s necessary to reduce taxes across the board: Congress must do the hard job of actually cutting the size of the federal government and its spending, instead of gaming the tax code to create costly offsets … There’s no debate over the fact that Congressional Republicans must do pro-growth tax cuts across the board.  The Tax Foundation has projected that Trump’s tax overhaul would produce about 7% in economic growth.  The corporate tax rate needs to be lowered, with incentives for investment.  But Congress also needs to dramatically cut federal spending, and not simply substitute a new consumer tax to feed Washington’s endless demand for more revenue.” (David McIntosh, “Let’s Bury The Idea Of A Border Adjustment Tax,” Investor’s Business Daily,  1/20/17)

Forbes Media Chairman & Editor-In-Chief Steve Forbes: “REPUBLICANS in the House of Representatives are inadvertently setting a nasty political and economic trap for Donald Trump.  Yes, it’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are ready to administer an unnecessary black eye to the new President.  That’s not their intention, but it manifestly will be the result.  The vehicle for this unwitting GOP punch is a new exaction called the border adjustability tax.  This levy will cost American consumers at least a trillion dollars over the next ten years.  Knowing how Washington politicians calculate these things, you can bet the amount will end up being considerably more.  Prices for everyday items, such as socks, shoes and household appliances, will go up.  So will tech devices like the iPad, not to mention automobiles and trucks.  Gasoline?  Millions of Americans will pay an additional 30 cents or more per gallon at the pump.  Lower-income and struggling middle-class Americans will get hit the hardest.” (Steve Forbes, “OMG! House Republicans Are Preparing To Hit Consumers With A Horrible New Tax That Will Harm Trump And Hurt The Economy,” Forbes,  1/11/17)

Americans for Affordable Products is a coalition of job creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers united against higher prices on everyday necessities.  To learn more, please visit:  www.KeepAmericaAffordable.com.

SOURCE Americans for Affordable  Products

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