Americans for Free Trade: ‘There Is a Lot at Stake’ in Upcoming Trade Negotiations

WASHINGTON, October 9, 2019 – As a delegation from China heads to Washington tomorrow to resume trade negotiations, Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 associations from every sector of the U.S. economy, has released the following statement from spokesman Jonathan Gold.

“As trade negotiations resume in Washington, there is a lot at stake for the U.S. economy. We are more than a year into this trade war, and so far all we’ve seen is fewer American jobs, slower economic growth, significant uncertainty and rising costs for businesses of all sizes. China must be held accountable, but we cannot afford to continue down this path. We urge the administration to come to the negotiating table ready to make a deal, and if necessary, look for new tools to rein in China’s trade abuses by working with our allies. It’s time to put a stop to job-killing tariffs.”

The impact of the trade war and the immediate need for these negotiations to be successful was on full display today as a lumber mill in Washington state announced it will close its doors and lay off the mill’s 70 workers because of the trade war. This news follows a recent Wall Street Journal story that highlighted the terrible impact the trade war was having on the lumber industry. In addition, the American economy has seen a wave of bad news related to the trade war, including:

  • “Tariffs are expected to cost American households up to $1000 a year.” (Yahoo! Finance, 9/20/19)
  • “Escalating trade tensions with China undermined consumer confidence in September, underscoring the dangers of a conflict that has harmed key business sectors such as manufacturing and farming and poses a threat to a record U.S. economic expansion. The consumer confidence index fell to a three-month low of 125.1 this month from 134.2 in August, the privately run Conference Board said Tuesday.” (MarketWatch, 9/24/19)
  • “In the surest sign yet that the trade war is hurting the American economy, manufacturing activity contracted for the second month in a row in September, falling to a level not seen in 10 years.” (CNN Business, 10/01/19)
  • “ISM at 47.8 is bad but new export orders at 41 is even worse … There is no end in sight to this slowdown, the recession risk is real.” (Fox Business, 10/01/19)
  • “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.” (Yahoo! Finance, 9/10/19)
  • “Consumers slowed spending and businesses cut back on investment in August, signs that a wobbling global economy and rising tariffs are sapping U.S. economic momentum.” (Wall Street Journal, 9/27/19)