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Round two in NRF's fight against BAT


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WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation has launched the second phase of its television and digital ad campaign against House Republicans’ proposed border adjustment tax, building on the success of satirical “As Seen on TV” ads that described the BAT as an “everything tax” for American consumers. In the new campaign, three small retailers – not actors – tell their own stories and convey their fears that the BAT would put them out of business.

“Small business owners are already struggling to survive in an over-regulated marketplace, and the border adjustment tax would push many of them under water,” NRF senior vice president for government relations David French said in a statement. “Erin, Vivian and Dave represent the millions of Americans who have made enormous sacrifices to build their businesses and now are at risk of being taxed out of existence. Their stories are powerful not just because they are real, but because their fears transcend regional and partisan politics.”

The new phase of NRF’s campaign will launch in several communities across the country and will encourage viewers to go to to tell their members of Congress to oppose the BAT. In addition to digital ads featuring all three small business owners, the campaign will begin with a 30-second television spot sharing the story of Erin Calvo-Bacci, the owner of CB Stuffer, a specialty chocolate manufacturer and retailer in Swampscott, Mass.

In the ad, Calvo-Bacci says the BAT “will be devastating. … It means all of my costs are going to increase.” When asked what she wants lawmakers to know about BAT, she says, “I don’t want my company to go away. This is going to kill us.”

The other ads feature Vivian Sayward, owner of Vivacity Sportswear in San Diego, and Dave Ratner, owner of Dave’s Soda and Pet City in Agawam, Mass.

The BAT is included in the House Republican leadership’s “Better Way” plan for tax reform. While NRF strongly supports tax reform, the BAT could cause retailers to see tax bills three to five times the amount of their profits, threatening to drive some merchants out of business. Most at risk would be the small retailers that make up 98 percent of the retail industry and provide 40 percent of its jobs.

The new phase of NRF’s campaign will begin with a two-week television and digital ad buy in the congressional districts of several Republican members of the House.