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Retailers Face Off With Trump Over Taxes

Retailers took their fight against the proposed border adjustment tax to Washington today.

Eight executives from major U.S. firms met with President Trump in a closed-door session to discuss their concerns over the Republican’s tax overhaul, which would mean millions of dollars in additional taxes for companies that import product.

The executives in attendance included Jill Soltau of JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores, Art Peck of the Gap, Brian Cornell of Target, and Marvin Ellison of JC Penney.

In a statement in the portion of the meeting open to the press, Trump called tax reform “one of the best opportunities to really impact our economy.” He promised a system that will be simpler and one that would save individuals and businesses a lot of money, allowing the latter to employ more people.

The President also addressed regulations, which he said cost the economy $2 trillion a year. He vowed cuts that would reduce them “by massive amounts.”

While no specifics from the conversation were offered, the Americans for Affordable Products—which is a coalition of more than 100 companies opposed to the border tax—said, “Today’s meeting between executives and President Trump focused on pressing issues confronting American families: economic growth and domestic investment…. We stand ready to work with the new administration in advancing pro-growth policies that work for all Americans, particularly middle-income households.”

Chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and president, chairman and CEO of AutoZone Bill Rhodes said in a statement. “Today, we had a positive and productive conversation with President Trump about the important role the retail industry plays in our national economy. We stressed the importance of taking a thoughtful approach to tax reform for both individuals and corporations.”

Rhodes said the retail industry looks forward to continuing today’s dialog in support of “pro-growth policies that we believe will lead to greater domestic investment.”