National Black Chamber of Commerce Endorses Border Tax Provision

The National Black Chamber of Commerce voiced support for the House GOP border adjustment tax provision in its policy memo released Wednesday.

The organization said the border tax provision “will also level the playing field for African American-owned businesses, allowing for more job creation and investment back into our communities.” In the memo, the group also endorsed the House GOP tax plan overall.

The border adjustment proposal, which would tax imports and exempt exports, is at the center of intense debate in the business community. Supporters say it would make U.S. businesses more competitive amid high foreign tax rates. Detractors argue it would raise prices on essential consumer goods.

The American Made Coalition, a group of businesses supporting the tax measure, praised the NBCC’s support for the plan. The endorsement “adds to the chorus of an overwhelming number of Americans who want a tax code that incentivizes domestic manufacturing, encourages investment in the U.S., and above all, supports American workers,” John Gentzel, a spokesman for the coalition, said in an email.

The measure faces a dubious outlook in the Senate. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday added his voice to a slate of Senate Republicans uncertain or critical of the plan.

“From the aisles at big box stores to the checkout lines in grocery stores, household staples could be pushed out of reach for those who can least afford it,” Flake said on the Senate floor today, adding that he’s unsure about supporters’ argument that the provision would strengthen the U.S. dollar.

He also cited concerns that the proposal could disrupt global supply chains or prompt retaliatory reactions from global trade partners.

“When we increase barriers to trade, nobody wins,” he said.

Briefings

Finance Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the failure of the American Health Care Act is a setback for major GOP priorities like tax reform. “This does make tax reform more difficult, but it does not in any way make it impossible,” he said. “We will proceed with tax reform, we will continue with tax reform.” Ryan said Republican members have “even more agreement” on tax reform compared to health care.

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