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Ohio Businesses On The Fence About Border Adjustment Tax, Rep. Renacci Says

Jim Renacci

Ohio businesses remain pretty divided over a Republican-proposed reform known as the Border Adjustment Tax, according to Congressman Jim Renacci.

The BAT would place an import tax on companies that bring goods into the country. On the flip side, companies who do more exporting will see a reduction in taxes. 

This is intended to incentivize more U.S. manufacturing.

At a round table discussion held Thursday, Renacci spoke with Ohio manufacturers as well as representatives from major retailers. Renacci said he's seen about a 50-50 divide in support for the deal from businesses he's spoken to around the state.

Whether or not a business approves of a BAT had a lot to do with their industry, he says.

"Net exporters like the Border Adjustment Tax," Renacci says. "Net importers do not like the Border Adjustment Tax. I'm just concerned about who's going to pay for it."

One of the Ohio companies at Thursday's roundtable was Abercrombie and Fitch, a global company that's based out of New Albany and employs 2,000 people locally.

Spokesperson Everett Gallagher said the BAT would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, which would then be passed on to their consumers. Not just that, Gallagher said, the BAT could have negative repercussions internationally.

"If we as a country cut back on trade, we're concerned about what that might do to U.S. businesses if other countries adopt similar policies," Gallagher said.

Renacci says he will continue to tour the state and hear from as many different businesses as possible, big and small. He has some concerns about the BAT, and says his priority is to make sure any major tax reform benefits U.S. business and Ohio business.

"For us to make America great again, we have to make America competitive," Renacci said. "Right now, the tax code makes America very uncompetitive."