Feb 4, 2017 - Politics & Policy

​Trump tweet gives hope to border tax boosters

Supporters of the border adjustment tax were thrilled to see Donald Trump's late night tweet on Friday:

Countries charge U.S. companies taxes or tariffs while the U.S. charges them nothing or little.We should charge them SAME as they charge us!

Between the lines: Paul Ryan knows he needs the President's enthusiastic backing to push this $1.2 trillion revenue proposal through Congress. Backers of border adjustability — a well-funded coalition that includes Boeing and GE — saw Trump's Friday tweet as a step in the right direction.

Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon already favors the plan to hike import taxes and lower export taxes, but the President has been uncertain. He didn't like the complicated branding of the "tax." As we revealed, however, in several pieces, Ryan has been working behind the scenes to explain the proposal in nationalist (read: Trumpian) terms.

What's next: Trump is hardly a sure thing here. He's still blending the language of "tariffs" and "taxes." This unsettles Republicans. They'll need him to fully embrace the border adjustment proposal — and quit talking about targeted tariffs — to have any hope of persuading a skeptical Senate.

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