RILA goes to bat against the BAT

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RILA goes to bat against the BAT

02/01/2017

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is launching a national campaign to fight a new tax on goods imported and sold in the United States.

The campaign, called Americans for Affordable Products, will focus on educating lawmakers on the impact of the new border adjustable tax (BAT), specifically the resulting higher costs consumers will face on family essentials such as food, gas and clothing. The tax is a component of the tax reform proposal under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The BAT would impose a 20 percent tax on all imported goods. According to RILA, taxing imports would have a disproportionate impact on U.S. retailers, who by necessity import many of the items that they sell; a border adjustable tax will force higher prices on consumer staples such as food, medicine, clothing, electronics, and home improvement items.

The BAT debate comes at a time when many retailers are already struggling with slow sales growth due to shopper migration to the Internet. Then last week the Trump administration hit retailers with more bad news: a possible 20 percent tax on Mexican imports.  

“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,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “However, the border adjustable 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 consumers and retailers alike."