American Coatings Association

ACA, Coalition Urge President to Hold Back Tariff Increase on Chinese Goods


Last month, following President Trump’s announcement that he would delay new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, ACA signed onto a coalition letter praising the decision. The letter signed by ACA and more than 150 associations and organized though the Americans for Free Trade Coalition President, lauded the action that would give the United States and China more time to strike a deal.

It was widely reported that President Trump and China’s President Xi will hold a trade summit at Mar-a-Lago before the end of March.

The proposed tariff increase would have raised the duty on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent and was supposed to go into effect on March 2.

“Collectively, we support tens of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains,” the letter stated. “We agree that China and other trading partners must be held accountable for trade violations. However, broadly applied tariffs do more harm than good and force American companies to foot the bill for China’s misbehavior.”

The Americans for Free Trade 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.

According to data released by the coalition, American businesses paid an additional $2.7 billion in tariffs in November 2018 alone. The most recent month data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents a $2.7 billion tax increase and a massive year-over-year increase from $375 million in tariffs on the same products in November 2017. The data also shows that U.S. export growth hit its lowest level of 2018, thanks in part to a 37 percent decline in exports of products facing China’s retaliatory tariffs. This data highlights that tariffs as a negotiating tactic will always be a losing proposition because Americans — not foreign countries — are the ones paying the price.

“As negotiations continue, we urge you to continue to listen to the concerns of American businesses faced with significant uncertainty. 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.”

“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 letter concluded.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.