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Border Adjustment Tax Creates Intra-Party Fight

AFAPPennsylvania may play a central part in the debate over the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), a central part of President Donald Trump and House Republican’s tax reform plan. The BAT places a 20% tax on all goods imported into the United States.  

The BAT is a point of contention between Trump’s economic nationalism, and the free market beliefs of many mainstream Republicans.  There is some contention between Trump and the House GOP plan.  While the House GOP has a specific number, Trump wants to use the BAT to punish specific countries.  

Representatives Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) and Mike Kelly (R-Butler) both sit on the powerful Ways and Means Committee that will first hear the tax proposal.  Conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity (AFP), that helped propel many of these Congressmen into office in 2010 have come out against the tax.

“Pennsylvania’s House delegation should publicly denounce a misguided tax policy that threatens Pennsylvania families with higher prices and workers with less opportunity and higher unemployment,” said Beth Anne Mumford Pennsylvania State Director at AFP during an Americans for Affordable Products press conference.

The tax would tax all imports into the United States, while not taxing exports out of the country.  This would include products bought directly by consumers, and those bought by American businesses.  

“I’m hoping that there may be an ability to consider the methods of recognizing that a commodity can only be purchased overseas, maybe a precious metal, oil that in its natural state that helps support manufacturing jobs here,” Meehan told Bloomberg.

“If it hurts American consumers, it doesn’t make sense for me,” Kelly also told Bloomberg.  

AFP is the political arm of the conservative, free market movement supported by the Koch Brothers.  The Kochs have had a contentious relationship with Trump, stemming from issues like this one.  

8 Responses

  1. Here’s an idea TAX the Koch’s and everyone like them. Put a steep tax on every political ad they run.

  2. I agree with Trumper. BAT is not President Trump’s proposal, it’s Paul Ryan’s bright idea. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he wasn’t a fan of the Border Adjustment Tax calling it “too complicated.” See the link below.
    Yes, he wants to tax companies that ship jobs overseas that turn around and sell those products back to the US. For example, his outspoken language on Mexico. My two cents, he doesn’t want to penalize counties with the BAT increase. I agree with this stance 100%.

  3. Trump hasn’t said anything about punishing countries with the BAT. Sounds like reporters putting words in his mouth.

    He HAS said that he wants to tax companies that ship jobs overseas only to import their products back to the US to sell. That’s totally different than the BAT.

  4. Will Grover Norquist score the BAT as a tax increase? Or does he give GOP a pass when it only hurts poor people?

  5. I’m anxious to see what Sen. Toomey decides to do. After years of forgetting about the conservative base that initially got him elected in 2010 he seems to have run away from those that helped get him there.

    Fact of the matter is that the BAT is bad for Pennsylvania. The impact that it will have on people employed in retail will be the ones who suffer the most. Hopefully our elected officials like Sen. Toomey will come to realize this rather than continue to set up their life in the private sector after they’re out of office.

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