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border adjustment tax

Target CEO, Other Retail Leaders Take Sides on Border Tax

Target CEO Brian Cornell and Home Depot’s founders are among the retail leaders taking opposing sides on a proposed border adjustment tax (BAT) for imported products.

If passed, the proposal “imposes a tax on imports while providing a credit for exports,” The New York Times reports.

Cornell spoke against the tax to the House Ways and Means Committee, which discussed the the issue at a May 23 hearing, according to The New York Times

“Under the new border adjustment tax, American families—your constituents—would pay more so many multinational corporations can pay even less,” Cornell says in The New York Times article.

On the other hand, Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone have publicized their support of the import tax, according to CNBC.

“If you took Bernie’s and my investment in Home Depot, it would probably add up to more than the total investment of all the CEOs of all the other major retailers. I would say we have some skin in the game,” Langone tells CNBC.  “I wouldn’t be embracing this border adjustment tax if I thought it was going to hurt one of my biggest single investments, Home Depot.”

The National Retail Federation opposes the proposed tax and helped coordinate meetings in late May between retail leaders and members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Retailers pay at or close to the full 35 percent federal corporate tax rate and benefit from few of the tax breaks that lower the effective rate paid by other industries,” David French, the retail trade association’s senior vice president of government relations, writes in a May 31 article. “We don’t want to see the BAT get in the way of badly needed tax reform.”

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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