Americans for Free Trade, a broad coalition of more than 150 U.S. businesses and trade associations united against tariffs and of which PPAI® is a member, sent a letter this week to President Trump commending the administration for making progress on trade negotiations and recognizing the negative impact of tariffs on American businesses by avoiding a tariff hike on March 1. The coalition emphasized the urgency of concluding trade talks as existing tariffs and ongoing uncertainty continue to hurt promotional products businesses and others across the country.
“It is our hope that this momentum will build in the weeks ahead and lead to a final deal that addresses structural issues in China, removes tariffs on both sides and eliminates trade uncertainty facing American businesses and farmers,” said the coalition’s letter. “Although we are encouraged by the latest signs of progress, it is important to note that existing tariffs and shifting deadlines are hanging over American businesses and farmers and undermining their ability to grow, invest and plan for the future.”
The letter also asks the administration to publish a required Federal Register notice before March 2 confirming and detailing the decision to avoid a tariff increase in order to provide the business community with certainty.
“We are eager to see a trade deal with China that addresses structural issues such as intellectual property theft and technology transfer while removing existing tariffs and the threat of tariffs in the future,” the letter stated. “Millions of American farmers, businesses, workers and families are counting on you to achieve a positive resolution that keeps America competitive on the global stage while growing our economy and protecting the millions of U.S. jobs supported by trade.”
The coalition letter also highlighted the rising cost of the trade war using monthly data on how much new tariffs have cost American businesses and consumers. The most recent monthly data, which comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that American businesses paid an additional $2.7 billion in November 2018, compared to $375 million in tariffs on the same products in 2017.
The full text of the letter can be found here.