The trade war with China has cost American businesses, consumers, farmers, and manufacturers over $53 billion, according to data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.
While President Trump has consistently claimed that China is paying for these tariffs, it’s simply not the case. And given the severity of the public health and economic crisis surrounding COVID-19, it is more important than ever that tariffs are lifted. But, as reported by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the Trump Administration is brushing aside calls to put broad import tariffs on hold, despite pleas from the business community that it could help stimulate the increasingly rocky U.S. economy.
Business owners have been calling for tariffs to be removed since the President’s trade war began because of the uncertainty and damage they cause. As Darryl Meattey, a small business owner in New Hampshire who voted for President Trump in 2016 wrote in the Concord Monitor: “…tariffs are slowly driving us out of business.”
Angela Carr, a small business owner in Pennsylvania has also been hit hard by tariffs. In fact, she has paid $500,000 in additional taxes because of tariffs. She shared in PennLive,
“We were thriving before tariffs – and we wanted to use our success to promote our goods to new markets, grow distribution, develop new products, hire additional staff, and give current employees increased compensation and benefits . . . but now, because of the tariffs, our cash has been so significantly impacted, these things are no longer possible.”
The Boston Globe highlighted how in Massachusetts, Delta Cycle owner Jeff Greenstein is unable to grow his business and has been forced to raise prices of his products because of the trade war.
“…my employees and my customers have done nothing wrong. So why are we being punished when we have nothing to do with this fight?”
Echoing the notion of uncertainty by tariffs, Reuters highlighted several other business owners across multiple industries that have been affected by tariffs. One of the most notable examples came from MISCO President Dan Digre, an audio equipment maker with 100 employees who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in tariffs.
“It just seems wrong. We’re not creating anything new. We’re spending all this time and money trying to deal with a problem that’s more or less self-inflicted.”
The agricultural industry is especially being hit hard from tariffs. Recently, Minnesota farmer Tim Dufault testified at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing stating:
“…while you would be hard pressed to find a farmer who would disagree with the fact that China has been a bad actor, farmers have shouldered the pain for a strategy that has seen only one minor tariff reduction and several tariff escalations.”
It’s critical that President Trump provides immediate financial relief to American businesses and workers during this period of uncertainty. After all, as seen in RedState.com, the trade war could unravel President Trump’s economic accomplishments and cost him reelection in November.