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Major Retail CEOs Meet With Mnuchin To Lobby Against Proposed Import Tax

Executives from several of the country’s largest retailers will meet with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Tuesday to protest the implementation of the controversial border adjusted tax that would increase the cost of foreign imports.

Cash register, retail sales, shopping

The proposed border adjustment tax, a key measure in Republicans' tax reform plans, would allow companies to deduct the cost of American-made products, but not foreign imports. The 10 executives scheduled to meet with Mnuchin include CEOs of PetSmart, JC Penney, Coca-Cola and other household names.

Retailers have been lobbying against the possible import tax for some time, worried a tax increase would result in higher prices for goods, costing consumers roughly $1,700 more a year, CNBC reports. The tax proposal aims to help keep jobs in the country, but retailers run the risk of losing millions in profits as a result

Retail Industry Leaders Association spokesman Brian Dodge said the industry advocates for pro-growth tax reform, and wants to work alongside the new administration to establish reform that will allow Americans to keep more dollars in their pockets.

Major retail associations are also pushing to save NAFTA from a major rework that could disrupt the supply chain. The National Retail Federation, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the U.S. Fashion Industry Association teamed up to send a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who was sworn in Monday, to plead the industry’s case, Bloomberg reports.

“We agree that the agreement should be updated to reflect today’s business reality and better prepare for future trade patterns,” the letter reads. “However, we ask for support from the administration to ensure that renegotiation will ‘do no harm’ to the successful supply chains that we rely on today.”