The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) are welcoming the release of a tax reform proposal by the House Ways & Means Committee that moves the U.S. Congress one step closer to passing tax reform.
“This is a critical step forward towards enacting the first major overhaul of our tax system in 30 years. Food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturers have long supported necessary tax reforms to create good American jobs and help our economy thrive, and we applaud this progress,” said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA’s president and CEO. “By creating a tax system that includes a lower internationally competitive tax rate and a territorial approach, Congress can help level the playing field for our nation’s manufacturing industry, strengthen the purchasing power of American consumers, and drive economic growth for American workers.”
The food, beverage and consumer products industry plays a unique role in America as the single largest U.S. manufacturing sector, with 2.1 million jobs in 30,000 communities across the country, says GMA.
“As a critical driver of the economy, this industry touches the lives of every American family every day, and tax reform could help fuel additional job growth for grocery manufacturers and workers,” the organization added.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin also applauded the move, releasing the following statement on behalf of FMI’s member companies:
“Food retail is a high tax industry, with most FMI members reporting a 32 percent or higher effective federal tax rate, as compared to food retailers in other countries who often pay a rate half of that or lower. The fact that American consumers continue to enjoy some of the lowest food prices in the world is a tribute to the strength of the food retailing industry and our strong relationships with food manufacturers, ranchers and farmers.
“FMI firmly believes that broad-based tax reform that lowers effective rates, simplifies the tax code and creates a level playing field for all industries will unleash innovation and help the industry create good-paying jobs for its associates and an enhanced shopping experience for its customers.
“We anxiously await the legislative markup of this text next week and hope the principles of low rates and fairness prevail so this truly becomes a once-in-a-generation legislation that gets our full support. We are grateful for the leadership of Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI).”
Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, also voiced his support for tax reform to CNBC in an interview this week.
“We’re very optimistic, we’re very pleased in what we’ve seen so far,” he said. “Lowering the corporate rate to 20 percent, simplifying the code, lowering the rate for passthroughs to 25 percent—those are all big positives in our view. Retailers employ 42 million Americans in this economy and generate one in four jobs across the country. So, anything that we do that’s good for businesses and consumers in the middle class we think is going to be good for the economy overall. So we’re very optimistic with what we’ve seen.”