(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) welcomed an announcement from the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders that the border adjustment tax (BAT) will not be included in any comprehensive tax reform proposal being considered. Jewelers of America had been advocating against the tax, which was included in the earlier House Republican Tax Reform Blueprint. It would have imposed a 20% tax on all imports, including finished jewelry and mined materials used to produce jewelry.
“The border adjustment tax would have been a huge burden on the US jewelry industry, which relies heavily on the import of mined materials like diamonds, precious metals and gemstones,” says Jewelers of America President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “Its removal from tax reform proposals is a big win for our members and the industry.”
The announcement came in a joint statement on tax reform from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI 1st), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX 8th).
“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” officials said in the statement.
Jewelers of America had most recently advocated against the proposal during the Jewelers of America Political Action Committee’s annual D.C. fly-in, held June 20-21. The fly-in included meetings with key officials including Senator Hatch, who attended a private dinner with attendees on June 21.
The association will be closely watching as the tax reform debate unfolds and supporting key elements such as providing the full and immediate write-off of business expenses and eliminating the estate tax, while fighting those that could hurt jewelry businesses such as repeal of LIFO, the last-in, first out accounting method.