Speier introduces bill to end the 'pink tax'

Speier introduces bill to end the 'pink tax'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at preventing companies from pricing similar products and services differently based on gender. 

Twenty-seven of Speier's Democratic colleagues signed on to The Pink Tax Repeal Act, which would allow "the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations and gives State Attorneys General the authority to take civil action on behalf of consumers wronged by discriminatory practices."

Citing a 2015 New York City Department of Consumer Affairs report stating women's products were on average 7 percent more expensive than male versions of the same item, the Californa Democrat argued the bill is necessary to even the playing field for females and prevent what she sees as gender-based discrimination against female consumers. 

“Women get hit with a double whammy: They make less for doing the same work and they pay more for the same product or service because it’s for women," she said in a statement. "Whether it’s a pink teddy bear, deodorant from the same manufacturer, or a white laundered shirt, it’s time to say enough! Discrimination is illegal.”  

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Speier's introduction of the bill purposefully coincided with national Equal Pay Day. 

The legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress as Speier previously introduced the bill in 2016 and it failed to make it to the floor. 

Groups including Consumer Reports, Consumer Federation of America, the National Women’s Law Center, Consumer Federation of California and The Women’s Foundation of California have come out in support of the measure. 

“There is no reason why men and women should pay different prices for essentially the same products or services,” Susan Grant, the director of consumer protection and privacy at Consumer Federation of America, said in a statement. “This unfair practice should be stopped."