Jack Ma’s import tax-cut idea has legs

Isn’t this what the West has wanted since the Opium Wars of the 19th century?

The Jack Ma roadshow is barnstorming across America to convince small business owners that China is ready to buy their goods and services. And the best way to do that is through Ma’s Alibaba Group Holdings, the largest e-commerce site in China.

Ma, Alibaba’s chairman, brought his home-spun style of world domination to Chicago’s small business owners at a session hosted by American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault. “(Create) innovative products and services and bring them to China. China in the next 10 years will become the largest importer in the world,” Ma said, according to Fortune.

Online publication Quartz asked if Ma was running for president, and maybe they aren’t that far off. With the way he’s talking about American tax policy it definitely seems like he might be running for Congress.

Forbes reported that Ma is very interested in getting regulators to lower the import taxes for small businesses selling to China, and vice versa. “If a U.S. small businesses sells to China for less than $1 million (in sales) it should be tax-free,” Ma argued. “And if a Chinese business sells to U.S. for less than $1 million (in sales) it should be tax-free.” Which brings us back to our question at the top of the story.

For nearly 200 years, the West has wanted to sell to the Chinese consumer. With the trade imbalance that exists now between the U.S. and China, the U.S. has been making a lot of noise about China opening up its domestic markets. If getting rid of the import taxes moves this along then it’s a win-win for both sides. Congress should give this some serious consideration.



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