GOP chairman defends tax proposal after Trump criticism

Greg Nash

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is defending a key provision in the House Republicans’ tax plan after it was criticized by President-elect Donald Trump.

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.”

{mosads}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 Ryan’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.”

Tags Donald Trump Kevin Brady Paul Ryan

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