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Top House tax writer suggests measures to mitigate the impact of the border tax


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady offers ideas on how to blunt the initial impact of a border adjustment tax on imports — a controversial proposal that's part of the overall Republican plan to overhaul corporate taxes and help pay for it.

Instead of dumping it, "why don't we modify the border adjustment provisions, phase them in slowly, make sure that we allay the valid concerns of those that are importing today," Brady said on "Squawk Alley" on Thursday.

Retailers and other companies that import argue the border tax would make goods more expensive to bring into the country, which could mean higher prices for consumers.

But Brady counters, saying: "This isn't the 1980s where rates alone will do it. We have to go bolder than that. And the border adjustment tax has big benefits."

The 20-year Republican Texas congressman said a border tax:

  • Simplifies international tax code
  • Levels the playing field here in the U.S. between foreign products and American-made products
  • Eliminates any tax incentive to move jobs and manufacturing overseas
  • And helps us lower that business rate dramatically

The House GOP plan to reduce corporate tax aims to lower the federal rate of 35 percent to a "flat rate of 20 percent."

Earlier this week, Brady told CNBC's "Squawk Box," "My sense is that border adjustability has become a given.

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