| WASHINGTON, April 10
WASHINGTON, April 10 Opponents of a proposal to
create a U.S. border tax on imported goods are targeting
lawmakers in their home states for the next two weeks while
Congress is in recess, according to organizers of the lobbying
The anti-border tax coalition, known as Americans for
Affordable Products, includes large corporations that require
imports like automakers and retail giants like Target ,
Best Buy and Walmart. The tax opponents will
target 40 members of Congress in 11 states, said coalition
spokesman Joshua Baca.
“We’re talking to businesses, local associations, having a
frank conversation with them about how dumb this idea is,” Baca
said. His group argues the proposal will raise consumer prices.
As part of a total overhaul of the U.S. tax code, Republican
House Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed lowering the corporate
income tax to 20 percent from 35 percent, imposing a 20 percent
tax on imports and excluding export revenue from taxable income.
The proposal has some strong corporate backers who say it
will boost American jobs and not raise prices, including
companies that do considerable amount of exporting, such as
Boeing, Caterpillar and Pfizer.
The anti-border tax group is planning to host a town hall
meeting next week in Nevada with Republican Senator Dean Heller,
which will also be co-sponsored by local business groups and
Americans For Prosperity, the conservative group funded by the
Republican Koch brothers which also opposes the border tax.
Town hall meetings have gained more attention recently as
events featuring Republican lawmakers have been targeted by
activists to voice their opposition to several proposals,
including repealing the Affordable Care Act which widened health
insurance coverage for about 20 million Americans.
Additionally, the anti-tax group will hold a discussion in
Ohio with Republican Representative David Joyce, where he will
hear from local furniture store owners who would be affected by
a border tax, Baca said.
Concurrently, members of the Retail Industry Leaders
Association, which is comprised of large retailers like Autozone
, Walgreens Boot Alliance, Inc. and J.C. Penny
Company, are using the recess to give members of Congress
behind-the-scenes tours of both their headquarters and stores in
an effort to persuade them against the tax, spokesman Brian
Both groups are hoping to make more voters aware of their
position and are armed with an opinion poll by a pollster who
also works for several Republican members of Congress.
The poll, shared first with Reuters and which was conducted
with funding from opponents of the tax, found 63 percent of
voters are against the tax, including 70 percent of women.
Additionally, the poll makes the case that 56 percent of
voters say they would be less likely to vote for a member of
Congress who supports the tax proposal.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson)