PPAI has joined Americans for Affordable Products, a growing coalition of almost 190 like-minded business leaders, corporations and industry groups, to oppose the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), a tax reform proposal that poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products. Last week, suppliers SanMar and alphabroder partnered on a letter to the industry adding their voice to concerns over the BAT and encouraging members to reach out to legislators on the issue.

An excerpt from the letter is below.

“SanMar and alphabroder are coming together—something we don't normally do—to ask for your help in opposing what might be the greatest threat to our industry in a generation. We are hoping that this joint appeal will communicate the urgency and gravity of this issue.

“Last year, as part of a broader effort to reform corporate tax laws, House Republicans published a tax proposal which incorporates a ‘border adjustability tax,’ which would impose a tax of 20 percent on all imports into the United States. Because our industry is so heavily dependent on imports and will be for the foreseeable future, the impact of border adjustability would be immediate, devastating and long-lasting.

“While we do not want to take anything away from Made in USA products or the industries that produce goods in America, the manufacturing and labor base of the apparel industry, like many others, is largely absent from this country and has been for decades. It is simply impractical and unrealistic to assume that such a large, across-the-board punitive tax on imports will somehow bring garment factories and their workers back to the United States.

“The reality is that this tax will disrupt global business, cause job losses at American companies relying on imports and lead to significant increases in prices on a wide variety of consumer goods, including the products your business relies on. For a typical reseller in our industry, more than 95 percent of their current apparel offerings would be subject to substantial price increases.

“Details of the plan have not yet been released but it is clear that—absent significant changes or elimination of this proposal altogether—our industry will be asked to fund tax reform that will be enjoyed by other companies.

“We need your help to communicate our shared concerns with your elected representatives in the House and Senate. Many of you have built your businesses from scratch and have unique stories to share. Your voices are powerful and we urge you to reach out to Congress to share your concerns. The fate of our industry relies on you.”

PPAI staff members have already traveled to Washington, D.C., this year to speak with members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee to discuss the BAT. The Association encourages industry members to contact their member of Congress and ask them to look for ways to reform our complicated tax code that won’t negatively affect American workers.