USA: Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and Target oppose Border Adjustment Tax
More than 100 retailers and trade associations, including Walgreens Boot Alliance, Rite Aid, Walmart and Target, have joined the Americans for Affordable Products coalition in an effort to stop the Border Adjustment Tax, otherwise known as BAT, which is a component of the U.S. House Republican tax reform proposal. The AAP will run a national campaign to engage consumers and show lawmakers that pursuing tax policy that would result in higher costs — by as much as 20% — for these retailers’ customers on everyday items including food, gas and clothing is the wrong approach.
According to the National Retail Federation, enacting the BAT on imports could cost American families as much as $1,700 per year.
“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,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF and member of the AAP. “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.”
Added Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, also a member of the AAP: “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.”
While members of the AAP oppose the BAT, they stressed 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.”
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