Retail CEOs Leave Meeting With Trump Optimistic About Border Tax
A group of executives from big-name retailers such as Target, Gap, Walgreens and Best Buy met with President Trump on Wednesday to make their case that a Republican plan for tax reform would be detrimental to their businesses and to the wider economy. The tax proposal, known as the border adjustment, would effectively create a new 17 percent tax on imports. Apparel and electronics are largely made overseas, and the retail executives fear that the border tax would cause their tax bills to skyrocket, forcing them to hike prices for consumers. In a statement after the meeting, Target CEO Brian Cornell said the group had a “positive and substantive discussion” about economic policy. Trump has not yet made clear whether he supports the border adjustment tax plan Republicans have put forward.
Total Retail’s Take: Not all companies in corporate America are against the proposed Republican tax reform plan. The American Made Coalition, which includes GE and Boeing, says the tax plan would level the playing field for them and other American exporters. Economists also reject the retailers’ worries about the implications of the tax — they report that the value of the dollar will rise if the law is passed, therefore making the cost of imported goods lower.
And in other Trump retail news, Wegmans is facing calls to remove Trump Winery products from its 10 Virginia stores. Wegmans joins a growing list of big-name brands, from Uber to Under Armour, Nordstrom to Neiman Marcus, that have been the subject of politically charged boycotts in recent weeks for carrying Trump-branded products.