Koch-backed group stepping up advocacy against border tax

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Americans for Prosperity is stepping up its efforts to advocate against a proposal from House Republicans to tax imports and exempt exports, as lawmakers are increasingly raising concerns about the proposal.

The conservative group, which was founded by billionaire donors Charles and David Koch, has made opposing the “border-adjustment” provision in the House Republicans’ tax plan one of its top priorities. 

AFP President Tim Phillips said in a press call Thursday that the group views the border-adjustment tax as a “consumer tax” that would be “particularly difficult for folks who can least afford it.”

{mosads}AFP has hundreds of volunteers and staff who are making phone calls about the proposal. The group has about 100 meetings set up with Congress members and their staff for next week, while Congress is in recess. And the week of Feb. 27, AFP state directors will meet with lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill to talk about the problems with the border-adjustment tax, said Derrick Sontag, AFP senior regional director.

Additionally, AFP on Thursday released a digital video urging people to tell their Congress members to oppose the tax. “Instead of shifting taxes from wealthy businesses to American families, let’s protect Americans from one of the largest tax increases in a generation,” a narrator says in the ad.

The increased advocacy efforts come as more and more GOP lawmakers are coming out against the border-adjustment tax. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) both gave speeches on the Senate floor on Wednesday raising concerns about the proposal.

AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner said that based on the number of lawmakers who already oppose it, “this package is probably dead on arrival.” He said that House GOP leadership should consider enacting spending cuts instead of paying for tax cuts through border adjustability. 

House GOP leaders are vigorously standing by the proposal and argue that it would end a disadvantage that American-made products have over foreign goods.

“This is good manufacturing policy,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday.



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