I am writing in response to Frank Shannon’s letter concerning a BAT. Here are the facts:
1) Taxing exports is prohibited by the US constitution. Article 1, Section 9 reads in part, “No tax or duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state.” An amendment to the US constitution would be required to allow such a tax. I realize that Mr. Shannon did not discuss an export tax in his letter but the title (which he may not have written) said “We must tax imports and Exports equally.”
2) The proposed BAT is a tax on imports. We already impose a duty on all imports (although sometimes the duty rate is zero). The rates of duty are contained in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). Customs Brokers have used the HTS and its predecessor, the TSUS, to properly assign duty rates to all imports for decades.
If the US wants to raise the price of foreign goods to protect US manufacturers, it only needs to universally raise the tariff rates in the HTS. At any rate, the US does not need to create a whole new government agency. It already has that process in place.