GOP senator: Reject border tax proposal

GOP senator: Reject border tax proposal

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is urging his colleagues to reject a proposed "border-adjustment tax" on imports that is a key feature of the House GOP's tax plan.

"This 20-percent tax on all imports is regressive, hammers consumers, and shuts down economic growth," Perdue said in a letter Wednesday.

House Republicans included the border-adjustment proposal in a tax-reform blueprint they released in June. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are currently working to create legislation based on the blueprint.

Perdue said he supports three of the major ideas in the House Republicans' plan: simplifying the individual tax code, lowering the corporate tax rate and making it easier for companies to bring foreign earnings back to the U.S.

But he said that the border-adjustment tax would raise consumer prices.


"This would hammer consumer confidence and lower overall demand, thus putting a downward pressure on jobs," he said.

The border-adjustment proposal would exempt exports from the corporate tax in addition to taxing imports. Supporters of the proposal argue that it would remove incentives for companies to move job overseas. They also argue that it will not hurt prices because the U.S. dollar would strengthen.

Perdue said that even if the currency adjusts, "we end up with more losers than winners." He said that a currency adjustment would lower the value of U.S. investors' foreign investments. 

"American seniors will see their retirement savings evaporate at the same time their living costs increase," he said.

Perdue is not the only Republican lawmaker who has expressed concerns about the border-adjustment proposal. Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe congressional debate over antitrust: It's about time McConnell looks for way out of debt ceiling box Senators make bipartisan push to block 0M weapons sale to Saudis MORE (R-Utah) has said he thinks the idea is too complicated, and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Cornyn says he 'would be surprised' if GOP tries to unseat Sinema in 2024 MORE (R-Texas) has said he has questions about it.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the former House Freedom Caucus chairman, told Bloomberg yesterday that he has concerns about border adjustment as well.

"You're now adding a new revenue stream to government, and the potential for abuse, I think, down the road is real," he said.