Brad Anderson Statement on Border Adjustment Tax

Statement for the Record

U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means

Hearing on

“Increasing U.S. Competitiveness and Preventing American Jobs from Moving Overseas”

May 23, 2017

Bradbury H. Anderson

Former Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy Co., Inc.

 

I, Bradbury H. “Brad” Anderson, started at Best Buy in 1973, and held various assignments of increasing responsibility before being named Vice President in 1981.  In 1986, I was promoted to Executive Vice President and was elected to Best Buy’s Board of Directors.  I was named President and Chief Operating Officer for Best Buy in 1991.  In 2002, I assumed the responsibility of Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Best Buy.  I retired from the Chief Executive Officer role in June 2009 but remained a member of the Best Buy board of directors until June 2010, and then served on the board again from March 2013 until my retirement in March 2016.

Earlier this year I was asked to comment about the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), which is being considered in Congress by the House Republicans.  Unfortunately, my remarks were the result of having been given inaccurate information, specifically related to the number of countries that have trade policies consistent with a BAT. What I have come to understand is that the proposed BAT is not at all consistent with what other countries have and would be an outlier among industrial nations, despite what many advocates have been arguing.

Even more significantly, the BAT is a new tax on everyday items purchased by hardworking consumers which would lead to significant price increases on essential products and job losses for the retail industry, an industry that is responsible for 42 million jobs in the U.S.  It moves the country in the wrong direction by abandoning real tax reform aimed at lowering rates and eliminating loopholes, and instead introduces new loopholes for foreign sellers and picks winners and losers among various industries.  The BAT is an untested policy proposal with risks that far outweigh any theoretical benefits.