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BJ’s, Mass. retail group line up against GOP-proposed border tax

By Greg Ryan / / February 2nd, 2017

It’s not often you see companies the size of Walmart railing against “big corporations” forcing consumers to pay more in order to line their own pockets. Then again, it’s not often an issue divides Corporate America the way the border adjustment tax does.

A coalition of companies and trade groups have launched a campaign against a proposal by Republicans in Washington to tax products grown or manufactured outside of the U.S. at a rate as high as 20 percent. The coalition, called Americans for Affordable Products, includes Westborough-based BJ’s Wholesale Club and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

The proposal has split the business community because while it would tax corporate income from imports, it would do no such thing to income from exports. The cost of retail products would increase as a result, with U.S. families paying at least $1,700 more per year, the coalition said. Many retailers rely on imported goods.

The changes are part of the tax plan put forward by Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders that would lower the overall corporate tax rate. The proposal has led some companies and groups that typically support Republican policies to voice their opposition to GOP leaders.

A flier put out by the coalition blasts the border adjustable tax as “consumers (paying) more so big corporations can pay nothing,” making “basic necessities more expensive for Americans while the largest companies receive big tax cuts.”

“In this day and age, when the consumer is 70 percent of the economy, how they spend their money, where it goes — it has a huge impact on our economy,” Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said.

A BJ’s spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Other members of the coalition include Best Buy, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gap Inc., IKEA, Nike and automotive trade groups. - 24/7 Support including Chat

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