Speed Reads

bat signal

Paul Ryan goes rogue on taxes, setting up showdown with the White House

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is headed toward a clash with the White House over "a controversial pillar of the House GOP tax plan that effectively hikes taxes on imports," Politico writes. The policy is known as the "border adjustment tax," or BAT.

In an analysis of the plan here at The Week, Jeff Spross writes that while "companies that keep importing will likely pass the cost of the tax onto consumers ... if a border adjustment tax can corral more demand within the U.S. while creating jobs and increasing wages, the hike in consumer prices could well be worth it." President Trump and his administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, have expressed opposition to Ryan's plan in the past, even as Ryan has promoted the adjustment tax as "the smart way to go."

"I think it makes the tax code the most internationally competitive of any other version we're looking at," Ryan has said. "And I think it removes all tax incentives for a firm to move ... their production overseas."

Trump has said he doesn't "love" the proposal and called it "too complicated." But the White House has been unwilling to get too loud in its criticisms, and ultimately it is up to the House, not the Trump administration, to write the legislation. "Of all the things we have going on right now, I don't think [a battle with Ryan over the tax] is the No. 1 priority around here," a White House official said.

Read more about the battle over the border adjustment tax here at The Week.