BALTIMORE -- Women are paying more than men for the same products according to a new report, including for everyday items like underwear.
But what's behind this so-called "pink tax?"
Whether they've heard the term or not, most women have noticed their products cost more than men's.
A report from the Progressive Policy Institute shows the average tariff rate on women's underwear is 15.5% compared to 11.5% for men's underwear, which means the tax women are paying is 3.5% higher than men.
"There's no good reason I could think of why the same goods, made of the same materials, at the same cost should be tariffed at different rates because they're targeted to different people," said JP Krahel, associate professor of accounting at Loyola University.
Krahel said you can see this difference in cost for all kinds of products, but only in the United States.
In Canada and Australia, tariff rates are the same for both genders, and in Japan and Europe, women are actually taxed at a lower rate.
"This may not be about the wage gap, directly, but it's just as effective in terms of disenfranchising half of the economy from making their own decisions, from realizing economic independence," Krahel said.
To eliminate the pink tax, Krahel stresses tariffs are just one part of the problem.
"A lot of factors determine the price you pay for a good," he said. "Getting rid of this tariff, while I believe it'd be a step in the right direction, by itself, would not eliminate that pink tax."
Krahel said voting matters in eliminating the pink tax.
New York enacted the first pink tax ban in 2020, and a handful of other states have proposed similar laws since.
Federally, the "Pink Tax Repeal Act" was introduced in the House in 2021 and is still pending in Congress.
for more features.