How do you know America’s retailers are nervous? They make an ad. And while usually it is meant to “incept” consumers to have a strong desire for a particular product or service, in this case the object of the ad is something every retailer across the US hates with a passion: the Border-Adjustment Tax, or BAT.
The proposed BAT, which House Republicans are looking to institute as a way to offset the loss of federal revenue from Trump’s proposed tax cuts, and to support domestic manufacturing, is loved by US exporters but hated by the retail industry because it raises taxes on imports (while encouraging exports). As a result, on Tuesday morning, the US National Retail Federation, launch the following commercial which is meant to explain the fundamental dilemma faced by retailers – and ultimately consumers – should BAT pass: consumers everywhere like low prices, while the benefits of supporting domestic manufacturing are concentrated in one industry. Rising import taxes will force retailers to pass through prices to consumers which would lead to less end demand, reduced consumption and even more carnage among the US retail sector (which as the latest results from Target demonstrate, is already in pain).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 28, 2017.