Decision to Cancel Additional Tariffs and Reduce Some Current Tariffs a Small Step Forward, But More Must be Done to Remove All Tariffs

WASHINGTON, December 12, 2019 – Today, the Trump administration announced that a Phase One deal has been reached. As a part of this deal, the United States will cancel a 15 percent tariff on additional goods imported from China that were expected to go into effect on December 15th. In addition, the administration announced the Phase One deal would cut some of the tariffs that are already in place. While the items on Lists 1-3 would stay at 25 percent, the items on List 4A would be reduced from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. 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 today’s announcement.

“The decision to cancel the List 4B tariffs and the announcement that the Phase One deal will cut some tariffs already in place is a small step forward. However, the tariffs still in place are a tax that Americans – and not China – continue to pay, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. And by only reducing the tariffs on a few items, the administration is picking winners and losers in this trade war. In the month of October alone, Americans paid almost $2.7 billion in additional taxes because of the tariffs on Lists One through Three. That’s why we urge the administration to continue to work diligently to come to a final agreement with China that will remove all of the tariffs currently in place.”


Americans Have Paid An Additional $42 Billion In Tariffs From The Start Of The Trade War In February 2018 Through October 2019, Including An Additional $4 Billion In October Alone. (“Trade War Has Cost Americans Additional $42 Billion, Including $4 Billion in October Alone,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, 11/6/19)

In The Month Of October Alone, American Businesses, Farmers and Consumers Paid Almost $2.7 Billion In Additional Taxes Because Of Tariffs On Lists One Through Three. (“Trade War Has Cost Americans Additional $42 Billion, Including $4 Billion in October Alone,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, 11/6/19)

“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)

Small Business Owner In New Hampshire: “Tariffs Are Slowly Driving Us Out Of Business.” “For the last 40 years, I’ve run a cold-weather accessory business in Troy. Our small business generates about $3 million to $5 million in annual sales, and we have anywhere from eight to ten employees…And we sell our products to some of the biggest stores in the country, like Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor. But tariffs are slowly driving us out of business.” (Darryl Meattey, “Tariffs Are Slowly Driving Me Out of Business,” The Concord Monitor, 11/25/19)China’s Retaliatory Tariffs Caused One Georgia Lumber Business to Lose Almost $900,000 A Month In Exports. “Breaking up with China cost Jim Howard a sizable chunk of his business. The split wasn’t by choice, but triggered by government policy. His Mableton business, AHC Hardwood Group, had grown its exports of fine hardwoods to China to about $1 million a month. That crashed to less than $100,000 after China slapped tariffs of 5% to 25% on American wood in 2018 in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s tariffs on $360 billion of Chinese goods.” (Christopher Quinn, “Georgia’s towering wood industry whipsawed by U.S. trade war with China,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/191/9)