April 10, 2024

New Dems Introduce Legislation Targeting Taxes that are Higher on Women’s Products Than Men’s, Costing Women Billions Per Year

Today, New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force Chair Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and New Dem Rep. Brittany Pettersen (CO-07) co-led the introduction of the Pink Tariffs Study Act, legislation to examine the prevalence and impact of “pink tariffs,” which may directly contribute to women paying more for everyday goods than men, including everything from razors to clothes. 

Traditionally, gender bias in the consumer goods space has been referred to as the “pink tax,” which occurs when companies charge a higher price for women’s products than similar men’s products. However, there is evidence that import taxes, also known as tariffs, may directly contribute to women paying more at the register than men. 

The Pink Tariffs Study Act would require the Department of the Treasury to conduct and report to Congress a study on potential gender bias and regressivity within the U.S. tariff system. This legislation has been endorsed by the NDC Trade Task Force and the Democratic Women’s Caucus

You can read the full text of the bill here.

“While often hidden from public view, tariffs have a significant impact on the prices Americans pay in stores every day. Research has shown that tariffs disproportionately impact products women commonly use,” said Chair Fletcher and Rep. Pettersen. “But despite making up $100 billion of the U.S. tax system, tariffs are rarely examined as a form of taxation, and rates on mass-market items haven’t changed in decades. Every American deserves a fairer tax system, and this legislation will help us get to the bottom of the issue.”

“For years, women have been paying more at the register for things like clothes, shoes, and razors. This is just plain wrong, and this bill will help us root out unfair tariffs aimed at goods marketed to women,” said Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Lois Frankel. “The DWC is proud to stand with members Reps. Fletcher and Pettersen, sponsors of this critical bill to lower costs for women consumers.”

“It is far past time for U.S. policymakers to systematically examine our tariff system, which currently appears to tax women more than men and low-income families more than high-income families. I applaud Representatives Fletcher, Pettersen, and the New Democratic Coalition’s Trade Task Force for their leadership on this essential issue,” said Ed Gresser, Vice President and Director of Trade and Global Markets at the Progressive Policy Institute. “Tariffs are not only trade policy but one of the seven main tax systems, and as in the other six, U.S. policymakers must be vigilant to identify and correct gender bias and regressivity in it."