Though the border adjustment tax might be off the table, for now, some retailers should be paying close attention to the GOP's plans to change how the government allocates its dollars. Specifically, food assistance dollars.
President Donald Trump's proposed budget is expected to slash $193 billion from the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for the period 2018 to 2028.
SNAP currently has an annual cost of around $70 billion.
Should Trump's plan be approved by Congress, millions of Americans are sure to bear the brunt of the drastic changes, with the impact trickling down to one group of companies that's already been seen struggling of late: retailers.
"The probability of [Trump's budget] passing in its current form remains low, but it should be monitored, particularly for the discounters, grocers, and dollar stores — all of which have called out last year's big reduction as a drag on sales," Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom wrote in a recent note to clients.
As of December 2016, the average SNAP household — there were roughly 43 million — was taking home about $252 per month in benefits, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated.
This amount would drop to $173 a month if Trump's budget is passed, representing a significant reduction of more than 31 percent, Grom went on, citing his firm's latest research on the subject.
Trump's budget proposal, if passed, could significantly speed up what was already expected to be a gradual reduction in SNAP, from $65.8 billion in 2017 to $64.8 billion by 2026, according to a report from the CBO.
After peaking in late 2012, the total number of SNAP participants has declined significantly, weighing on sales trends at a number of retailers as a result, Grom added. SNAP enrollment has been falling largely because some states have decided to end benefits even earlier than when they were required to.