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GOP chairman defends tax proposal after Trump criticism

GOP chairman defends tax proposal after Trump criticism
© Greg Nash

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyGAO report finds maternal mortality rates higher in rural, underserved areas Republicans attack Biden agenda after disappointing jobs report Bad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost MORE (R-Texas) is defending a key provision in the House Republicans' tax plan after it was criticized by President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE.

Brady said that the "border adjustment" proposal, which would tax imports and exempt exports, would prevent foreign products from having an advantage over American products.

"Unfortunately our current tax code is not only complex, it favors Chinese steel over American steel, Mexican beef and autos over American beef and autos, and foreign oil over American oil," Brady said in a statement provided to The Hill on Tuesday. "It's time to tax imports and exports equally in America, and end the 'Made in America' export tax."

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Brady's statement comes after Trump criticized the border-adjustment proposal in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, calling it "too complicated."

“Anytime I hear border adjustment, I don’t love it,” Trump said. “Because usually it means we’re going to get adjusted into a bad deal. That’s what happens.”

The border-adjustment proposal was unveiled as part of a tax blueprint that House Republicans released in June, and Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee are working to draft legislation based on the blueprint. Tax reform is a top priority for congressional Republicans and the incoming administration, and congressional staff has been meeting with staff from the transition team to discuss the issue.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE's (R-Wis.) office is optimistic that border adjustments will be included in a tax-reform bill.

"Speaker Ryan is in frequent communication with the president-elect and his team about reforming our tax code to save American jobs and keep the promises we've made," Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said. "Changing the way we tax imports and exports is a big part of that, and we're very confident we'll get it done."