Border Tax Criticism Clouds Reform Push

President-elect Donald Trump's criticism of a Republican tax reform plan could complicate the effort to overhaul the tax code this year. 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump expressed opposition to a part of the House GOP blueprint known as “border adjustment” that would tax imports and exempt exports from the corporate tax.

Congressional supporters of the idea see it as a way to prevent companies from moving jobs to other countries. But Trump called the proposal “too complicated” and suggested that it would not be needed in addition to tax cuts.

“Under the border adjustment concept, if somebody is making a motorcycle or a plane in our country, they’re getting a credit for the plane they make before they send it over to wherever it’s going,” Trump told the Journal. “And you don’t need that plus lower taxes and everything else.”

It’s unclear how strongly Trump is against the provision.

The president-elect may feel that the border-adjustment proposal would disproportionately hurt the industries he most wants to promote, including energy, according to GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

O’Connell said that Trump is providing a slight warning to lawmakers and hasn’t taken the border-adjustment proposal off the table, but his comments put "it at risk in the way that the House wants to craft it.”

Read more from Naomi Jagoda at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy