A sweeping tax reform proposal meant to boost U.S. manufacturing faces mounting pressure from industries that rely heavily on imported goods as President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans work to finalize new tax legislation.
As Republican members of the House of Representatives tax committee prepared to discuss tax reform this week, the panel received a letter from 81 industry groups rejecting the proposal known as “border adjustability.”
A lynchpin of the House Republican “Better Way” agenda and viewed favorably by Trump’s team, the policy would help manufacturers by exempting export revenues from corporate taxes. But it would tax imports, hitting import-dependent industries.
House Republicans hope to persuade Trump to back the policy as a means to fulfill his campaign pledge to create blue-collar jobs. This week, incoming Trump White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus expressed support for the approach as a possible alternative to tariffs.
Trump and House Republicans have not reached agreement on border adjustability but could iron out most of their remaining differences on tax reform in two to three weeks, ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration, former Trump adviser Stephen Moore told reporters in Michigan.
In a Dec. 13 letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and incoming top Democrat Richard Neal, groups representing the auto and retailing industries, among others, said: “Companies that rely on global supply chains would face huge business challenges caused by increased taxes and increased cost of goods.”
They warned of “reductions in employment, reduced capital investments and higher prices for consumers” as potential consequences. “The Better Way tax reform proposal, without the border adjustment provision, can provide the basis for the strong economic growth we all seek,” it said.
Border adjustability has come under fire from Koch Industries, the private conglomerate controlled by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who support Republicans and other conservatives in Congress.
Advocates of border adjustability say the House tax plan would collapse without the more than $1 trillion in revenues the provision would raise to help pay for tax cuts.
In a statement, Brady urged companies to focus on the entire plan, which would cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and end taxation of U.S. corporate profits overseas.
Neal said he was encouraged that Republicans are considering incentivizing manufacturing and exports but added: “There are genuine concerns that this could result in an increase in consumer prices.”
(Additional reporting by Tim Branfalt in Lansing, Michigan; Editing by Alan Crosby and Dan Grebler)
Emmy winners in key categories
Here is a list of the winners in key categories for the 71st Emmy Awards, which were handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday.
"Game of Thrones" wrapped up its run with an Emmy for best drama series -- and 12 total for its final season.
"Fleabag" pulled one of the biggest surprises of the night, sweeping the prizes for best comedy, best actress in a comedy, as well as best writing and directing -- a major disappointment for perennial winner "Veep" in its last season.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES: "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES: "Fleabag" (Amazon)
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Billy Porter, "Pose"
Five-year period ending 2019 set to be hottest on record
A damning new UN report published Sunday said the world is falling badly behind in the race to avert climate disaster as a result of runaway warming, with the five-year period ending 2019 set to be the hottest ever.
It comes ahead of a major UN climate summit Monday that will be attended by more than 60 world leaders, as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushes for countries to increase their greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The report "highlights the urgent need for the development of concrete actions that halt global warming and the worst effects of climate change," said its authors, the Science Advisory Group to the summit.
‘Nauseating’: Trump displays his utter contempt for the law and the Constitution — again
Abuse of power must be the label on a burgeoning dossier of complaints about Donald Trump as a president who would order subordinates to ignore congressional subpoenas, to steal money from one approved budget pot to build his Wall, to flaunt ethical protocols – and to do all those obstruction-like things outlined in the Mueller Report.
Now has come a mysterious new problem – a so-called whistleblower case alleging some kind of unidentified bad behavior from the top of the White House. From the descriptions of who is targeted, it seems to focus on Trump, his family, or someone within the top tier. Indeed, The Washington Post reported from sources that the complaint concerned an urgent matter relating to Trump promises to a foreign leader, most probably the prime minister of Ukraine.