16 CEOs urge Congress to pass ‘big & bold’ tax reform, including border tax

16 CEOs urge Congress to pass ‘big & bold’ tax reform, including border tax
Top executives from 16 major companies joined together in a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, strongly recommending tax reforms and a controversial border tax to stimulate growth for US companies and taxpayers.

Calling themselves the “American Made Coalition,” CEOs from some of the US’s largest companies, including Boeing, Dow Chemical, General Electric and Pfizer sent a letter Tuesday to endorse tax reforms that President Donald Trump campaigned on during the 2016 election. 

The group calls for lowering the business tax rate, which they claim is the highest in the world. They say these changes would encourage businesses to invest in the US and help protect jobs from “unfair foreign competition.

Proposed tax reforms from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) includes a border adjustment tax, which would impose a 20 percent tax on all imports, while making all exports tax free.

The coalition cites a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, which estimates that 1.7 million new jobs could be created by implementing the House tax plan. 

Under Ryan’s plan, the border tax would raise more than $1 trillion over a decade to offset the costs of lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, according to the Tax Foundation

Ryan says the tax would “level the playing field” by putting domestically manufactured goods and imported goods on an equal footing.

He argues that these reforms need to be implemented now, calling this time a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reform the tax laws that have not been changed in over 30 years.

The American Made Coalition is urging Ryan and the GOP to “pursue tax reform that is both big and bold.

Incremental tweaks will not level the playing field for American workers or dramatically reinvigorate economic growth. If we miss this chance to fundamentally reshape the tax code, it might take another 30 years before we have another chance to try,” their letter read.

In opposition to the proposed border tax, more than 150 other major US companies, including Nike, Gap, Target, QVC and Levi’s, formed the Americans for Affordable Products. They say the tax is nothing more than a “trillion-dollar tax break for a few corporations.

Facts are stubborn things and the reality is that many of the companies taking part in the American Made Coalition’s efforts already pay an effective tax rate that is significantly lower than the statutory income tax rate and are asking consumers pay more so that they can pay even less,” Joshua Baca, a spokesperson for Americans for Affordable Products said in a statement

Under the Border Adjustment Tax working families would pay more for basic necessities such as clothes, food, medicine and gasoline so that GE, Boeing and other profitable companies could pay little or no taxes. Passing additional costs totaling $1,700 per year on middle-income households so that companies exploiting loopholes in the tax code can gain additional special advantages is not an idea that will sell with voters who supported Republicans last fall as evidenced by the fact it has generated little to no support in the US Senate thus far,” Baca said.

Trump is expected to release his tax proposal within the next few weeks, and while he has called the border adjustment tax "too complicated," he has advocated using the same tax on Mexican imports to fund the construction of the border wall.

Facts are stubborn things and the reality is that many of the companies taking part in the American Made Coalition’s efforts already pay an effective tax rate that is significantly lower than the statutory income tax rate and are asking consumers pay more so that they can pay even less,” Joshua Baca, a spokesperson for Americans for Affordable Products said in a statement

Under the Border Adjustment Tax working families would pay more for basic necessities such as clothes, food, medicine and gasoline so that GE, Boeing and other profitable companies could pay little or no taxes. Passing additional costs totaling $1,700 per year on middle-income households so that companies exploiting loopholes in the tax code can gain additional special advantages is not an idea that will sell with voters who supported Republicans last fall as evidenced by the fact it has generated little to no support in the US Senate thus far,” Baca said.

Trump is expected to release his tax proposal within the next few weeks, and while he has called the border adjustment tax "too complicated," he has advocated using the same tax on Mexican imports to fund the construction of the border wall.