The import tax proposal has officially been removed from the tax reform plan — which is welcome news for retailers across the industry.

On Thursday, congressional and administration leaders announced they would remove the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) from consideration, and announced an outline for comprehensive tax reform. The BAT provision would have ended importers’ ability to deduct the cost of merchandise purchased from other countries.

The tax was initially considered a way to fund tax cuts, but it prompted a fierce backlash from retailers, as well as other import-dependent industries and activists that argued the tax would result in higher prices for consumers. The National Retail Federation estimated this tax could have costed the average family as much as $1,700 annually.

“By removing this costly element of reform, the way has been cleared for swift action on a middle-class tax cut that will put more money in the wallets of the American taxpayer,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Changing our outdated tax code is fundamental if we are to grow our economy, encourage investment and create…