Retailers join to denounce border tax

Coalition highlights consumer cost of Trump proposal.

Feb 01, 2017 - A coalition of consumer businesses including state and national trade groups representing food retailers have banded together to oppose border taxes such as those floated by President Trump in recent weeks.

The group, which calls itself Americans for Affordable Products, said the Border Adjustment Tax would cost American families $1,700 more for the products they buy every year and up to $1 trillion for all consumers over the next 10 years.

“[T]he Border Adjustment Tax is harmful, untested, and would put American retail jobs at risk and force consumers to pay as much as 20% more for family essentials,” Retail Industry Leaders Association President Sandy Kennedy said in a statement issued by the new coalition Wednesday. “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.”

RILA, which represents big-box retailers including Costco, Walmart and Target, is joined in the coalition by the National Grocers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Retail Federation; individual retailers including BJ’s Wholesale, Dollar General, Walmart and Meijer; and several state retail associations.

The president suggested an import tax as a means to pay for border security measures promised in his campaign. Although details have not been announced the proposed 20% tariff on importing such items would wreak havoc for food retailers. According to the USDA, the U.S. imported $21 billion in food products from Mexico in 2015.

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