Americans for Affordable Products (AAP) — a coalition of over 100 businesses and trade associations — united to stop the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), and its possible higher prices on everyday necessities. The organization is calling on South Carolina senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and the rest of South Carolina’s entire House delegation to oppose the policy it deems overreaching. The organization held a press conference at the capitol in Columbia on Thursday.
“South Carolina’s congressional delegation knows just how dependent our state is on the thousands of jobs provided by retailers every year, Director of Government Relations Lisa Mcgill Sweatman said the new proposal could impact working families. “If enacted into law, consumers could see costs for everyday essentials like food, gas, clothing and medicine increase by $1,700. The Border Adjustment Tax will seriously jeopardize economic growth at a time when we need it most.”
The BAT is a component of the U.S. House Republican tax reform proposal. It charges a tax on imports, with the concept of ensuring the products cost the same amount as products made domestically. But some in the House say it could hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the cost of everyday products by up to 20 percent. If enacted, BAT could increase prices on a wide range of basic, everyday items like food, gas and clothing.
“While there’s no question tax reform has been a long time coming in Congress, enacting policies that punish local consumers and employers is the wrong approach,” said Jim Pagett, board member of the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “On behalf of the many Hispanic-owned businesses, across South Carolina, who take great pride in delivering value to their customers- while employing our local men and women- the proposed Border Adjustment Tax, and its resulting increase in prices on everyday items, may force them to make adjustments that are not in the best interest of our communities.”
Last weekend, Senator Graham told John Dickerson, host of CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that he doubted the House tax reform plan would even get ten votes in the Senate, largely over objections to BAT.