Thirty years after the last major change to our tax code took place, Congress is considering tax reform—including a giant new consumer tax that would put millions of jobs at risk and force Americans to pay more for almost everything.
Under the BAT consumer tax, a 20 percent levy would be imposed on all goods imported into the country. No industry would be spared, but a new report from Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity highlights five of the biggest industries that would be whacked by this policy — together they account for about 1-in-3 private jobs in America!
Manufacturing would suffer greatly from the BAT due to the supplies they need to manufacture goods here in the U.S. Manufacturers rely heavily on raw materials and parts sourced from abroad, and use imported machines, tools and computers to make products domestically.
Paying 20 percent on all of these components would increase prices substantially, while forcing many companies to cut jobs.
American automakers are a perfect example. It’s estimated that the BAT could raise the price of each car made in the U.S. by more than $2,000. This in turn could lead to sluggish sales and job losses at factories and car dealerships.
It would cost more for a car under the BAT, but it would cost more to fill one up, too. Estimates show that gas prices could increase by 30 to 40 cents per gallon as a result of the tax. Utility bills could increase for many Americans as well. And since low-income families spend the highest proportion of their earnings on fuel and electricity, they would be hurt the most.
Higher fuel costs also mean higher transportation costs, so for goods that need to be moved from one place to another (hint: almost all of them), you can expect their costs to go up, too.
For the retail industry, which provides one out of every eight private-sector jobs in the country, the BAT is an existential threat. This already-struggling industry relies heavily on imported goods, and, with slim profit margins, simply can’t afford a giant new tax. Under the BAT, many retailers could end up having to pay significantly more in taxes than they make in profit—an impossible way to do business.
Fertilizer, chemicals and fuel – much of which is imported – comprise a significant portion of operating costs for the agriculture industry. The BAT would cause these costs to rise to a point that would jeopardize family farms while passing higher prices on to consumers.
Of course, much of the food that Americans eat isn’t even produced domestically. So prepare to pay more for those avocados, tomatoes, and even beer and liquor!
Under the tax plan currently being discussed, the 20 percent tax on imports would apply to “products, services and intangibles” that are brought into the United States, including financial services. American finance companies like insurers depend on a global economy, so the BAT could be devastating to the industry. The tax could have a ripple effect throughout the market that could result in Americans paying $5 billion more each year to protect their homes, families and businesses.
Our lawmakers need to make sure tax reform allows hardworking Americans to keep more of their money and that government is more responsible with the money it already has. Tell your lawmaker to oppose a new consumer tax with the click of a button here.