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Why millennials should oppose the border adjustment tax

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House Speaker Paul Ryan stood before the Republican Senate lunch last Tuesday to make his case for the Border adjustment tax. Previously, Speaker Ryan defined the border adjustment tax as a “compromise between a tariff… and conservative orthodoxy against border taxes.”

GOP Senate members have expressed growing concern over the 20% tax on imports. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) explained in a meeting with Ryan on Tuesday that a “20 percent negative impact when [products come into the country] means those who bear the burden the most are the consumers in the country.”

While White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Speaker Ryan have displayed support for the Border Adjustment Tax, several senators including Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tim Scott, and David Perdue (R-GA) alongside President Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn all object to the import tax.

It is evident that Washington is sharply divided over the Border Adjustment Tax, but millennials don’t have to be.

The Border Adjustment Tax is included in a value-add the tax or VAT. In the tax section of A Better Way, it is explained that border adjustability means that “the tax is rebated when a product is exported to a foreign country and is imposed when a product is imported from a foreign country.”

A 20 percent tax on all of our imported goods is not conservative, and it certainly doesn’t bear in mind the interests of the American people. Conservatives have stood for tax cuts for too long to succumb to a tax on all imported goods. An import tax will harm not only American families, but also millennials who are trying to save for their future. Those who are already on a strict budget might have to cut back even more as their favorite items get taxed. The shoes you wear on your feet will even fall victim of the tax–40 percent of Nike shoes are imported from Vietnam. Among the top imported items are apparel, footwear, and automobiles–all items that millennials can expect to see go up in price should the Border Adjustment Tax be implemented.

As Senator Perdue put it last week, an import tax is “regressive,” it “hammers consumers and shuts down economic growth.” An import tax is bad news for millennials and Americans all across the country. While Speaker Ryan and supporters of the Border Adjustment Tax push for it, it is important to remember who will be most negatively affected: American consumers.


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