WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in an interview today (June 21, 2017) on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. that retailers would work “tirelessly” to achieve tax reform that lowers rates without shifting the burden to consumers.
Regarding House Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech on tax reform the day before, Shay said, “The Speaker made very clear that there is more than one way to get this done….I think that is encouraging. That is a sign that he and Chairman Brady and others are being responsive to the concerns they have heard and the recognition the politics of this, it just doesn’t make sense to do tax reform by imposing a $1700 tax on American families.”
To watch the full interview, click here.
The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and NRF has led the retail industry in advocating for comprehensive tax reform that would broaden the tax base and lower the rate. Retail benefits from few of the tax breaks that lower tax bills for other industries, and most retail companies pay at or close to the full 35 percent rate.
Fox Business Network
Varney & Co. – Matt Shay Interview
June 21, 2017
STUART VARNEY: House Speaker Paul Ryan outlined his tax reform plan yesterday. He barely mentioned the so-called border adjustment tax. National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay is here with us now. Alright, Matt, take a victory lap because you killed it. You killed the border tax.
NRF PRESIDENT AND CEO MATTHEW SHAY: Nice to be with you, Stuart. Glad to be here today. I think that the speech Speaker Ryan gave yesterday and the outline that he provided to that audience was something that would resonate very well with our members, would be very popular with the retail industry. He said a lot of things with which we agree and that makes the point, that we have been in agreement with the Speaker on the need for tax reform for a long time and we have one disagreement over one element and the fact he didn’t mention that element yesterday is encouraging to all of us.
VARNEY: Your disagreement is purely about the border adjustment tax and that is the way of paying for this tax reform. If you take away the border adjustment tax would you be okay with substituting a consumption tax like a gas tax?
SHAY: I think a consumption tax and a gas tax would be received very differently depending on which industries you are talking about because they will have different impacts. But I think the point here is that the Speaker made very clear that there is more than one way to get this done and the fact that he acknowledged there’s a way to do tax reform, and said, for reference, we have a proposal here in the House but there are many ways to get this done, I think that is encouraging. That is a sign that he and Chairman Brady and others are being responsive to the concerns they have heard and the recognition the politics of this, it just doesn’t make sense to do tax reform by imposing a $1700 tax on American families.
VARNEY: I came on strong at the beginning of the interview trying to press you, and say, ‘look, it’s dead.’ You killed it, you did it. I think I am right, whether you killed it or not doesn’t matter. I think it is dead and you are not going to give me an argument.
SHAY: We have heard the Senate – sort of up and down the line – from Republican members of the Senate express a lot of discomfort with this. There is not any enthusiasm in the Senate for this to go anywhere. You heard Secretary Steve Mnuchin at Treasury, you’ve heard Gary Cohen at the White House make public statements about their displeasure with this particular approach, so I think this is a positive development. I think there is a long way to go, as Speaker Ryan pointed out, and it is not going to be over until we get there. And we need to get there and I think we should be very clear on this. We will be just as vocal in support of a plan that doesn’t contain the border adjustment tax as we have been vocal about one that does. We are big champions for reform. We pay the highest rate of any industry in the country, we want to get this done and we will be out there tirelessly working to get tax reform across the finish line.
VARNEY: Okay, Matt, we’ll delay your victory lap for a couple days but after that you really have to come back to take a victory lap because you really did kill it.
SHAY: Victory is when we get tax reform done because it’s good for the American people and good for this country and that will be a victory for all of us.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.