Republicans Remove Border Adjustment Tax From Tax Plan

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed to remove the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) from the tax overhaul plan the GOP hopes to pass later this year.

The import tax, which Ryan introduced and has championed along with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady for over a year, would have imposed a 20 percent tax on all goods entering the U.S., including jewelry and materials to make jewelry.

The controversial tax was actively opposed by the National Retail Federation, Jewelers of America (JA), and major retailers including Target and Walmart.

JA joined major retailers and other advocacy groups in opposing the passage of BAT through the Americans for Affordable Products coalition.

The coalition released the following statement this morning on the removal of BAT:

“The nearly 600 members of the Americans for Affordable Products coalition are very pleased to see the released tax reform framework representing the viewpoints of the White House and majority party in the U.S. House and Senate has finally and definitively taken the misguided Border Adjustment Tax off the table,” wrote Joshua Baca, a spokesman for Americans for Affordable Products. “This framework…reflects the will of America’s consumers and employers by eliminating a policy that would have raised costs on families and risked jobs in the largest employment sector in the nation.”

Paul Ryan and Kevin Brady (image: @speakerryan)

Ryan, Brady, top Senate Republican, and senior White House officials released a joint statement on Thursday saying the group is willing to table BAT in the interest of clearing the path for massive tax cuts later this year.

“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it, and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” reads the statement.

The National Retail Federation, which hosted Mike Pence as its keynote speaker at its annual Washington, D.C. conference this month, sent a letter urging the group to jettison BAT on July 19, based on the impact the tax would have on American families:

“An NRF analysis of the plan predicts that the plan could cost the average family of four $1,700 in the first year alone, which includes a 35 cent increase in the cost of a gallon of gas. Hardest hit would be low and middle income consumers, especially those on fixed income.”

(Top image courtesy of Presencia PR)



JCK Magazine Editor