Experts Aren’t On Board With BAT

Apr 20, 2017 by AFP

Congress is considering a new 20 percent tax on imports that could raise prices on American families. Now a new survey from the University of Chicago shows what experts think about the Border Adjustment Tax. The university asked a panel of top economists at universities across the country about how the BAT will affect American families and businesses. Some top takeaways from the panel’s responses:

  • The BAT likely won’t substantially reduce the U.S. trade deficit: twenty-nine percent of experts surveyed said the proposed tax won’t boost America’s economy. Supporters of the BAT import tax say it will create a level playing field in the global economy, but only ten percent of experts agree that the BAT will reduce the trade deficit.
  • The BAT will likely substantially raise prices for U.S. consumers: twenty-three percent of experts said the border adjustment tax would indeed increase the cost of living for American families. “The point of the tax is to shift [the tax burden from] producers who are mobile to consumers who aren’t. That means consumer prices go up. There’s no magic,” said Austan Goolsbee, a professor from the University of Chicago who was part of the panel. Just 17 percent disagreed the BAT would raise prices.
  • There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the BAT: The number one answer for both questions panelists were asked was “uncertain.” That’s probably because a BAT import tax has never been tried before. According to a report from Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity, “The proposed system is unlike anything in existence…and there is a tremendous amount of risk surrounding its implementation.”

For more information on how the BAT will affect your state, check out the report here.

Don’t want a new tax on everything you buy? Click here to tell Congress to abandon the BAT tax idea.