Retailers launch anti-border tax coalition

Retailers launch anti-border tax coalition
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A group of more than 120 retailers and trade associations launched a coalition on Wednesday to oppose a key provision in the House Republicans' tax plan.

The coalition, called Americans for Affordable Products, is pushing back against the "border-adjustment" proposal to subject imports to U.S. taxes while exempting exports. 

"We oppose any border adjustment tax (BAT) because it will increase the cost of clothing, food, medicine, gas, and other essential items that Americans rely on," the group says on its website. "Consumers shouldn’t bear the burden of this new tax while some corporations get a tax break."

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Members of the coalition include state and national retail associations as well as businesses such as Best Buy, Dollar General, Macy's, Rite Aid and Walmart.

The group's formation comes as Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are working to create tax-reform legislation that includes border adjustability. The provision is part of a blueprint House Republicans released in June that is serving as the starting point for legislation.

House Republican leaders argue that the BAT would end the "Made in America tax" on exports. The provision would also raise about $1 trillion that could be used to pay for tax cuts elsewhere in a tax-reform bill.

Businesses have been stepping up their lobbying efforts on the BAT in recent months.

The retail sector has been particularly aggressive in lobbying against the proposal, along with oil refineries and the Koch brothers. But businesses who support the provision are also starting to mobilize. A group of manufacturers and exporters are planning to form their own coalition to promote the benefits of the proposal.