Will he or won’t he? That’s the question everyone’s been asking regarding President Trump and an endorsement of the controversial border adjustment tax.
While the President has been consistent in his refrain about building trade walls to keep jobs in America, he’s been less clear on how he feels about this cornerstone of the Republican’s tax plan and its ability to do so.
Back in January, he famously said he didn’t love it, calling it “too complicated.” Then in later days, the White House seemed to imply that nothing, including the BAT was off the table.
Just today, the President gave an indication that the plan, which has seemed at times to be losing support in Congress, may end up becoming law after all.
In an interview with Reuters, Trump said, “It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States.”
While not exactly a full-throated endorsement, it’s no doubt disheartening to the many in the retail and consumer products communities who are staunchly opposed to the plan. It also may raise eyebrows with other members of the World Trade Organization since questions have been raised about whether or not the U.S. could enact such a plan without violating our agreement with other WTO members.
Whether it’s this plan or another, the President reiterated his intention to tax the border. “I certainly support a form of tax on the border,” he said. “What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here, they’re going to build their factories and they’re going to create a lot of jobs and there’s no tax.”
While both naysayers and supporters of the border adjustment tax agree that the U.S. tax system is well overdo for an overhaul, that’s about all they can agree on. The BAT promises to drop corporate taxes by 15 percent, while taxing imports and exempting exports. The idea being that the import taxes will fund the tax cut and strengthen the economy.
One part of corporate America applauds the plan for its ability to level what they consider to be an unfair playing field for their exports. On the other side, however, are importers who are convinced it will force them to charge more at the register.