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JA Delegates Meet Washington Leaders

Advocacy visit focuses on sales-tax fairness and proposal to raise jewelry import levy.
Jun 28, 2017 3:49 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Jewelers of America (JA) hosted two days of meetings and events in Washington last week to give retailers and suppliers the opportunity to talk with lawmakers about issues affecting the industry.

The seventh annual “advocacy visit” included a legislative forum at the historic Army & Navy Club, and a full day of meetings with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. Jewelers met more than 40 lawmakers and legislative staff, including Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, who chairs the Senate’s finance committee.

The events were part of the Jewelers of America Political Action Committee (JAPAC)’s annual visit to the US capital. This year’s delegation focused on sales-tax fairness and the Border Adjustment Tax — a proposed 20% increase in taxes on jewelry and precious-stone imports.

Lawmakers were reluctant to take an official position on the proposed border tax, as it is still at an early stage and legislation has not been introduced, JA reported on Monday this week. However, it added, “the overriding sentiment was that the concept itself is too unpopular and politically volatile to pass.” 

The visit also featured a dinner at which representatives from Haake Fetzer — a consulting firm that serves as JA’s Washington-based legislative counsel — briefed guests about government affairs.

“The noise in Washington, DC, is louder than ever, and jewelers need to speak with a strong voice to ensure our issues and concerns get heard,” JA CEO David Bonaparte said in the Monday statement. “Our annual advocacy visit is one of the best tools we have to communicate with leaders on both sides of the aisle.”
Tags: David Bonaparte, Haake Fetzer, ja, JAPAC, Jewelers of America, Jewelers of America Political Action Committee, Orrin Hatch, Rapaport News, Washington
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