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Americans for Free Trade Call on White House to End Trade War

Nearly 150 Business Groups Ask White House to Capitalize on G20 Meeting and End Trade War Ahead of Looming New Year’s Day Tariff Increase

 

Coalition of nearly 150 organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers, retailers and consumers sends letter asking President Trump to reach an agreement that addresses China’s unfair trade practices and policies

 

Americans for Free Trade logoWASHINGTON — Americans for Free Trade today sent a letter to President Trump urging the White House to resolve the ongoing trade war with China during the President’s meeting with Chinese President Xi at the G20 meeting this week.

“Mr. President, we urge you to capitalize on your upcoming meeting with President Xi to reach an agreement that addresses China’s unfair trade practices and policies in order to remove the 2018 tariff increases, forgo the January 2019 tariff increase and avoid an additional round of tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of everyday consumer products and manufacturing inputs. Millions of American farmers, business owners, companies, workers, and families are counting on you to make a deal,” the coalition said.

Today’s letter follows months of negative nationwide economic consequences caused by the impact of tariffs on American businesses, workers and families. Americans for Free Trade is holding townhall events across the country as part of the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. The town halls bring local businesses and farmers together to tell their stories of how tariffs are hurting them.

“Tariffs are leading to fewer opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers to compete in overseas markets and less income to provide for their families,” the coalition added in today’s letter. “For U.S. companies importing manufacturing inputs or finished products, these significant costs will result in higher prices, fewer jobs, slower wage growth and reduced investment. We will continue to see the cost of the trade war ripple through the U.S. economy and reverse this year’s economic progress.”

Americans for Free Trade and the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign have also been releasing monthly data on the impact of tariffs on imports and the damage retaliatory tariffs have had on American exports.

Americans for Free Trade will continue to use its diverse coalition of employers in communities across the country to press for resolution of ongoing trade disputes with China. Americans for Free Trade is also working with Farmers for Free Trade on a grassroots nationwide campaign to illustrate the impacts of tariffs on American businesses, families, farmers and manufacturers.

Full text of the letter can be found below and downloaded here.

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, we are writing to urge you to resolve the ongoing trade dispute with China during your meeting with President Xi this month. Resolution of this dispute is essential to keeping America competitive on the global stage while growing our economy and the millions of jobs supported by trade here at home.

Our diverse coalition represents every part of the U.S. economy including manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. Collectively, we support hundreds of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains.

We agree that trading partners should abide by the global trade rules. Accordingly, we believe that targeted trade actions are effective measures for proven trade violations. Broadly applied tariffs, however, are not.

At a time when our economy is booming, unemployment is at record lows and consumer confidence is at its highest level in nearly two decades, we are united in our concern over the harmful consequences of tariffs for American businesses, workers, and families. Since our coalition launched in September, we have held townhall events across the country where Americans, including owners of local businesses large and small, detailed how tariffs hurt businesses, consumers and communities. Here are a few examples of what they’ve been saying at our town halls.

  • Columbus, Ohio: President and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants Gordon Gough said, “Retailers in Ohio have limited resources, so they won’t be able to simply absorb the cost of these new taxes. Instead, these costs will show up in the form of fewer jobs and higher prices for Ohioans.”
  • Dallas, Texas: South Texas farmer and rancher Scott Frazier warned that “agriculture is bearing the brunt of these retaliations at a time when we can least afford it.”
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: President and CEO of the Marquis-Larson Boat group called the tariff impact on the boat building industry “catastrophic,” adding that the “little guys are just getting crushed.”
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Not only are these tariffs costing consumers more for everyday products, but they are impeding access to new markets for Pennsylvanian farmers and business owners. “America’s farmers produce enough food to meet the needs of consumers within our borders and worldwide who desire our high-quality products,” said Juniata County hog and chicken farmer Chris Hoffman. “Tariffs threaten our ability to market our products and directly affect our profitability. It is critically important for U.S. farmers to have access to free markets to remain economically viable.”
  • Rutherford County, Tennessee: Hog farmer Brandon Whitt expressed his concern that if the trade war doesn’t end soon, markets could be lost and the trade war could cause “permanent damage to farming and agriculture in Tennessee and across the country.”

These stories of economic hardship are unfolding nationwide. The harm will be exacerbated when the tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019. Further, the additional threat of tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of trade with China is causing even greater concern for job creators across the country.

The impacts are supported by real numbers. According to data released by the joint Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign in October 2018, American businesses paid over $5.6 billion in tariffs – more than a 70 percent increase from the same month last year. In September 2018, U.S. exports subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year, having an immediate and severe impact on U.S. products sent abroad.

Tariffs are leading to fewer opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers to compete in overseas markets and less income to provide for their families. For U.S. companies importing manufacturing inputs or finished products, these significant costs will result in higher prices, fewer jobs, slower wage growth and reduced investment. We will continue to see the cost of the trade war ripple through the U.S. economy and reverse this year’s economic progress.

Mr. President, we urge you to capitalize on your upcoming meeting with President Xi to reach an agreement that addresses China’s unfair trade practices and policies in order to remove the 2018 tariff increases, forgo the January 2019 tariff increase and avoid an additional round of tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of everyday consumer products and manufacturing inputs. Millions of American farmers, business owners, companies, workers, and families are counting on you to make a deal.