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Rep Speier Introduces Pink Tax Repeal Act to End Gender-Based Pricing Discrimination

April 10, 2018
Press Release

Washington – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and 27 of her colleagues marked Equal Pay Day with the introduction of H.R. 5464, the Pink Tax Repeal Act to finally end gender-based discrimination in the pricing of goods and services. The act allows the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations and gives State Attorneys General the authority to take civil action on behalf of consumers wronged by discriminatory practices.

“Women get hit with a double whammy: They make less for doing the same work and they pay more for the same product or service because it’s for women. Whether it’s a pink teddy bear, deodorant from the same manufacturer, or a white laundered shirt, it’s time to say enough! Discrimination is illegal,” Rep. Speier said.

Rep. Speier took her fight to Congress in 2015, after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published a study that found women’s products cost up to 13% more than similar products for men. Click here to view the complete study.

This inequity is further compounded by the gender wage gap, which is even worse for women of color. Rep. Speier and her colleagues timed the introduction of the Pink Tax Repeal Act in conjunction with Equal Pay Day to further raise awareness of the financial fallout suffered by women.

The act is co-sponsored by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Dina Titus (NV-01), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12). It is endorsed by Consumer Reports, Consumer Federation of America, the National Women’s Law Center, Consumer Federation of California, and The Women’s Foundation of California.

Comments from supporting organizations are listed below.

"It's time to end gender-based pricing discrimination," said Anna Laitin, Director of Financial Policy for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. "Women shouldn't have to pay more for products that are virtually identical to those sold to men at a cheaper price. It is an absurd practice, and the fact that it continues today demonstrates the need for this commonsense bill."

“There is no reason why men and women should pay different prices for essentially the same products or services,” said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at Consumer Federation of America. “This unfair practice should be stopped. The Pink Tax Repeal Act is a critical step in thwarting this unfair practice.” 

“The Pink Tax Repeal Act is an important step towards ending gender discriminatory pricing and promoting the economic security of women,” said Emily Martin, General Counsel and Vice President for Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. “Women and the families they support can’t afford to be shortchanged by discrimination. Women’s wallets already take a hit when they receive smaller paychecks due to the gender wage gap. On top of this, women pay a ‘gender tax’ when they are charged more than men for the same goods and services. It’s time for these unfair practices to end.”

“For products and services that do not differ in the labor, materials and related costs of production, it is unfair to charge more based on the gender of the consumer to whom it is marketed,” said Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federal of California. “The Consumer Federation of California is proud to support Rep. Speier’s efforts to prohibit gender-based discrimination in pricing”.

“Women and their families deserve public policy that promotes their economic well-being, but the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs study highlights a pricing scheme that contains blatant gender discrimination,” said Surina Khan, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California. “Rep. Speier’s legislation rightly states that women should not have to pay more for a razor simply because it is pink”.

Click here for a copy of the bill text.