WASHINGTON, D.C., (December 10, 2020) — Yesterday, Americans for Free Trade sent two letters to Congressional leaders in support of legislation that would help American businesses recover from the impact that tariffs are having in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The first letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, expressing both strong support for and quick passage of H.R. 7665, a bill that would extend product exclusions in effect as of July 16, 2020. The second letter was sent to Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) expressing strong support for S. 4497, a bill that would temporarily suspend all duties on PPE and other products identified by the U.S. International Trade Commission as needed for the COVID-19 response.
In the letter to House Leadership, Americans for Free Trade cited the need to lift financial burdens on American companies.
“As businesses around the country try to recover from the ongoing economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as we witness a resurgence of cases and new restrictions on business operations, they need as much certainty as possible to ensure a full and successful recovery,” wrote Americans for Free Trade. “Raising tariffs – which are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers – on January 1, 2021 will cause greater uncertainty, impose greater financial burdens on struggling American businesses and have a negative impact on a U.S. economic recovery.”
Americans for Free Trade signed the letter sent to Senators Toomey and Hassan, outlining the crucial role that U.S. companies are playing in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“American businesses are playing a significant role in creating, transporting, supplying, and selling essential products for America’s COVID-19 response. But at a time when critical medical equipment, PPE, and other health, cleaning, and safety products are scarce, tariffs create barriers that make these essential products more expensive and more difficult to source,” Americans for Free Trade continued.