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U.S. small businesses to lobby Congress to oppose border tax

Staff Writer |
About 60 small business owners and a representative from retailer Big Lots will hold meetings with members of Congress this week in an effort to oppose a proposed "border adjustment tax," organizers said.

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Retailers led by large stores including Target, Best Buy and Autozone are trying to get Republicans to abandon the tax as a piece of any sweeping tax reform.

The measure would impose a tax on imports while favoring domestic production.

The meetings, which will begin on Tuesday and conclude on Thursday, will include lawmakers and staff from several states including Arizona, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, focusing on districts represented by members who have not taken a position on the tax or sit on the Ways and Means Committee.

They hope to convince them to oppose the tax.

The meetings are the latest effort by retailers to lobby lawmakers to not support a tax they say would increase consumer prices for imported goods.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has remained a driving force behind the border tax proposal, arguing that economic forces will keep the tax from raising consumer prices.

The future of the tax remains shaky. President Donald Trump has refused to endorse it and many Republicans in the House and Senate are opposed. Furthermore, the effort to pass tax reform has stalled.

But Joshua Baca, a spokesman for the coalition opposing the tax, said they will continue to fight against it. "The fight is not done. The people who control the process are still very much in favor of the border adjustment tax," Baca said.

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