Koch Network Begins Effort To Throw Out Republican Border Tax Plan
Jan 30, 2017 03:56 PM EST
Industrial billionaires Charles and David Koch launches an effort to quash the Republican's border tax plan despite being Republican supporters themselves. The Koch network has since expressed their disapproval over the matter from the beginning saying that the plan would raise prices for American consumers and render devastating effects to the economy.
In an attempt to throw out the border tax plan the officials from Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative political advocacy group founded by the Kochs, convened over the weekend for a conference. Accordingly, the group plans to use its network of wealthy political donors and activists to kill the proposal, which aims to raise $1.2 trillion over 10 years on goods coming into the United States.
In a statement released last year, Koch objected to replacing the current corporate income tax with a 20 percent assessment on U.S. companies' domestic sales and on their imports of foreign goods and materials. Exports would be tax-free. Further, the company stated that American consumers will be forced to pay higher prices on products produced in and goods imported to the US that they use every day. Their statement came in an unexpected turn of events as Koch and its organizations, one of the most powerful forces in the U.S. politics, have always supported Republican leaders in the past. However, for the recent campaign, they refused to endorse Trump as president.
There is no clarity as to whether Trump supports the approach but proponents say that revenue collected from the border tax could help finance Trump's effort to build a wall in Mexico. Also, it would discourage U.S. manufacturers from moving abroad. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing the tax as part of a broader overhaul of the U.S. tax code. AFP sent a letter to a House panel in charge of writing tax legislation, explicitly stating their opposition to the border tax plan. This is not only the act of defiance the Koch-led organization made in the recent days.
Following Trump's implementation on banning refugees and people coming from Muslim countries to travel in the U.S, an official of the network said that "the travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive." Nevertheless, AFP's CEO Luke Hilgemann said in an interview that the group had a "developing relationship" with Trump and that the White House has reached out to them to discuss policy matters.
In addition, AFP officials have already planned to boost Koch network's spending on policy and political activities to around $300-400 million for the coming 2018 congressional and gubernatorial elections. Currently, AFP is also set on mobilizing activists to help win Senate confirmation of Trump's pick for the Supreme Court nominee.