Americans for Free Trade: If We Truly Want to ‘Win’ the Trade War, We Need a Deal to Remove All Tariffs

WASHINGTON, November 12, 2019 – Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 associations from every sector of the economy that are united in the fight against tariffs, released the following statement from spokesperson Jonathan Gold in response to President Trump’s speech today on trade policy.

“Let’s be clear: Americans, and not China are paying these tariffs. They are a $38 billion tax on American businesses, consumers and farmers. Economists, analysts and experts across the board agree the tariffs are hurting the economy: the manufacturing industry slowed for the third month in a row in October; farm bankruptcies are on the rise; and business investment contracted for the second quarter in a row. If we truly want to ‘win’ the trade war, we need to come to a final deal with China that removes all tariffs.” 


From The Start Of The Trade War In February 2018 Through September 2019, Americans Have Paid An Additional $38 Billion In Taxes Because Of Tariffs And Have Faced $10.6 Billion In Retaliatory Tariffs. (“Trade War Has Cost Americans Additional $38 Billion, Including $4.1 Billion in September Alone,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, 11/6/19)

As Of September, Trade War Has Killed 300,000 Jobs. “Forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics estimates that Trump’s trade war with China has already reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs, compared with likely employment levels absent the trade war. That’s a combination of jobs eliminated by firms struggling with tariffs and other elements of the trade war, and jobs that would have been created but haven’t because of reduced economic activity.” (Rick Newman, “Trump’s trade war has killed 300,000 jobs,” Yahoo! Finance, 9/10/19)

ISM Chairman Timothy Fiore On October Manufacturing Numbers: “Global Trade Remains The Most Significant Cross-industry Issue.” (“October 2019 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®,” Institute for Supply Management, 11/1/19) 

“A Gauge Of U.S. Manufacturing Showed The Sector Continued To Contract In October, The Third Straight Month Of Slowdown Amid Global Trade Uncertainties.” (Yun Li, “US manufacturing contracts for a third straight month,” CNBC, 11/1/19)

“Job Growth Is Slowing This Year…In Part Because Of The Nearly 16-Month Trade War Between The United States And China.” “Job growth is slowing this year, averaging 167,000 per month compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018, in part because of the nearly 16-month trade war between the United States and China, which has undermined business investment.” (Lucia Mutikani, “U.S. October job growth beats expectations despite GM strike,” Reuters, 11/1/19)

“The Trump Administration’s Trade War With China Has Eroded Business Confidence, Contributing To The Second Straight Quarterly Contraction In Business Investment.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Consumers support U.S. economy as business spending slumps,” Reuters, 10/30/19)

Farmer Bankruptcies Have Risen In Almost Every Region. “The Farm Bureau report showed that farmer bankruptcies had risen in every region of the U.S. for the year ending in June except for the Southwest. Wisconsin, Kansas and Minnesota led the nation in Chapter 12 filings; bankruptcy filings in Kansas and Minnesota increased so significantly in the past year that they reached the highest levels of the past decade.” (Chuck Jones, “Amid Trump Tariffs, Farm Bankruptcies And Suicides Rise,” Forbes, 8/30/19)

The Trade Deficit Has Widened Because Of The Trade War – Not Shrank. “The trade deficit, which has widened as Chinese retaliatory tariffs have hurt farm sales, trimmed GDP growth by about 0.1 percentage-point in the third quarter.” (Martin Crutsinger, “US economy grows at modest 1.9% rate in third quarter,” Associated Press, 10/30/19)

Yarn Store In Sharon, Pennsylvania Forced To Shut Down Because Of Tariffs: “The Tariffs Pushed Me Over The Cliff.” “During the last few years, Carla Infante has had to deal with challenges, including the rise of online retailing, to keep Never Enough Yarn, her shop in downtown Sharon, in business. In spite of her efforts, Never Enough Yarn has become a casualty in the international trade war. Infante said she’s closing her Sharon shop mainly due to tariffs slapped on Chinese yarn. A sale is now underway at the store and Infante expects to remain open through mid-December. ‘The internet got me to the edge of the cliff,’ Infante said. ‘The tariffs pushed me off the cliff.” (Michael Roknick, “Never Enough Yarn owner blames tariffs for store’s demise” The Sharon Herald, 10/19/19)