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Koch Industries takes aim at House Republican tax reform plan

| Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, 11:24 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, warned Wednesday that a Republican tax reform proposal meant to encourage exports could have dire effects on the economy and consumers.

The proposal, known as border adjustability, is part of a larger tax reform plan backed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Speaker Paul Ryan. It has attracted the attention of advisers to President-elect Donald Trump as a potential tool for creating manufacturing jobs for blue-collar Americans.

But the provision, which would tax imports while exempting U.S. exports from corporate income tax, has raised concerns in the retailing and energy sectors.

Corporate lobbyists say that Trump's threatened 35 percent import tax against companies that move jobs overseas could reflect an interest by the president-elect in a border-adjusted approach to tax reform.

“The proposed border tax adjustment will distort the market, increase consumer prices and create an uneven playing field for companies and consumers,” Philip Ellender, who oversees government and public affairs for the Wichita-based multinational, said in a statement.

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