Win for re/insurers as White House drops border-adjustment tax

"With BAT out, Washington has an opportunity for the first time in more than a generation to pass a tax reform plan that boosts American businesses and family budgets", RILA President Sandy Kennedy said.

The Whitehouse stated that in its goal to introduce reforms that will reduce tax rates "as much as possible" US leaders believe that without transitioning to a new domestic consumption-based tax system, "there is a viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the USA tax base".

The group said have made a decision to set aside a controversial border adjustment tax on imports that was estimated to raise about a trillion dollars in revenue and had been part of the House GOP's tax blueprint, but was opposed by retailers and other groups.

The "Big Six" include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the two top tax writers in Congress - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady. But the so-called Big Six group of Republican negotiators from the House, Senate and Trump administration issued a statement Thursday outlining the most general principles they have agreed to. The BAT provision would have ended importers' ability to deduct the cost of merchandise purchased from other countries.

"The framework released today by Congress and the Trump administration places the tax reform train squarely back on its tracks", said AIADA President Cody Lusk. While this would have encouraged companies to invest and produce in the United States, that positive result could have been outweighed by negatives - disruptions to worldwide financial markets, a challenge at the World Trade Organization, short-term spikes in consumer prices.

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The tax was initially considered a way to fund tax cuts, but it prompted a fierce backlash from retailers, as well as other import-dependent industries and activists that argued the tax would result in higher prices for consumers. They estimated that the BAT would raise approximately $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years, which would limit the deficit impact of cutting corporate tax rates.

The House of Representatives abandoned the border adjustment tax to clear the way for consensus on a "perfectly viable" way to get tax reform done, Ryan said.

Ryan told Fox Business that it was important to take the border-tax proposal off the table in order to allow lawmakers to move forward on tax reform.

"Republicans worked with Democrats from the get-go and knew that a long-term, bipartisan solution was necessary to create jobs and grow the economy".

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