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Americans for Free Trade Requests Exclusion Process for Tariffs on $200 Billion in Goods

Coalition of over 100 organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers, retailers and consumers sends letter to USTR requesting an exclusion process for Section 301 “List 3” tariffs

WASHINGTON — Americans for Free Trade today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer requesting an exclusion process for the most recent wave of tariffs on $200 billion in goods.

Today’s letter follows the Trump administration imposing a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in products that American business, farmers, manufacturers and consumers rely on. While an exclusion process was provided to American businesses for the nearly $50 billion in previously announced tariffs (Lists 1 and 2), the administration has said that no similar process will be provided on the most recent tariffs on $200 billion (List 3) in goods that went into effect Monday.

“Businesses and industries across the board are concerned about the impact that the tariffs will have on their operations, workers and customers,” the coalition wrote in the letter. “It can take months, if not years, for companies to successfully shift their supply chains to find new vendors who meet all of their requirements to produce safe, quality and compliant products under socially responsible conditions.”

“The latest round of tariffs also provides U.S. companies with very little time to properly plan to rework their supply chains as the tariffs took effect six days after the final list was announced,” the coalition said.

Americans for Free Trade will continue to use its diverse coalition of employers in communities across the country to press for the same exclusion process that had been provided on previous tariff lists. Americans for Free Trade is also working with Farmers for Free Trade on a grassroots nationwide campaign to illustrate the impacts of tariffs on American businesses, families, farmers and manufacturers.

Full text of the letter can be found below and downloaded here.

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

 

On behalf of the Americans for Free Trade, we are writing to request that the

Administration include an exclusion process for the recently announced 10 percent tariffs on

close to $200 billion worth of imports from China (List 3). We appreciate that USTR included

such processes for the List 1 and List 2 tariffs. Many of the groups listed below previously wrote

to you in August with recommendations for the previous exclusion processes. We strongly

believe that the exclusion process should continue for this latest round of tariffs which

encompass a wider swath of covered HTS lines. It is even more important since the tariffs will

escalate to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

 

As USTR and the 301 interagency committee heard during the six-day List 3 hearing

from over 350 witnesses and in the over 6,000 submissions to the docket, businesses and

industries across the board are concerned about the impact that the tariffs will have on their

operations, workers, and customers. It can take months, if not years, for companies to

successfully shift their supply chains to find new vendors who meet all of their requirements to

produce safe, quality, and compliant products under socially responsible conditions. This

assumes that such a vendor exists and can produce the required products or components at an

equal capacity, quality, and similar price.

 

The latest round of tariffs also provides U.S. companies with very little time to properly

plan to rework their supply chains as the tariffs took effect six days after the final list was

announced. While we appreciate that USTR removed some items from the final list, there are

many, many other products, especially at the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff System level that

should be considered for an exclusion. In fact, USTR demonstrated this very need when it

removed some products at the 10-digit level. In addition, where relief was partially granted

under some HTS codes, there are cases where essentially the same product was not granted a

similar exemption, creating a situation of more favorable treatment for some business within the

same industry producing the same items.

 

Testimony and submissions to the List 3 docket repeatedly noted that the products

included on List 3 have nothing to do with the original 301 investigation which focused on

China’s practices regarding forced technology transfer and unfair trade practices. While there is

widespread agreement that these underlying concerns are issues that need to be addressed, tariffs

do not address these important issues. In addition, because the criteria for inclusion or removal

from the final list were not made public, companies in sectors unrelated to the 301 investigation

had little advance warning that their specific products would be subject to tariffs.

 

Americans for Free Trade is a coalition representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers and

agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies,

importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders, who are united in their concern about

the negative impacts that these tariffs are and will continue to have on U.S. businesses, workers

and consumers.

 

We call upon USTR and the administration to reconsider the decision not to include an

exclusion process for the List 3 China tariffs. If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan

Gold (goldj@nrf.com). We thank you for your consideration.

 

CONTACT:

Jon Gold (GoldJ@NRF.com) or  Melanie Lehnhardt (Melanie@TariffsHurt.com)

Leading Trade Organizations Join Together in Major Campaign Against Tariffs

Leading Trade Organizations Join Together in Major Campaign Against Tariffs

Farmers for Free Trade joins with Americans for Free Trade, a new coalition of the largest retail, manufacturing, technology and services trade organizations, in a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign against tariffs

“Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” will tell the stories of American families, farmers, workers and businesses who are being hurt by the trade war; Will kick off with events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and Ohio next week

WASHINGTON, September 12, 2018 Over 80 of the nation’s leading trade associations representing thousands of businesses and workers today announced the formation of Americans for Free Trade a multi-industry coalition aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefits of international trade to the U.S. economy. This new coalition will immediately join Farmers for Free Trade, the coalition backed by the nation’s largest ag commodity groups, in a multi-million dollar national campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. The campaign will focus on telling the stories of the American businesses, farmers, workers and families harmed by tariffs through town-hall style events, grassroots outreach to Congress and the administration, social media, rapid response and digital advertising.   

The campaign includes a geographically searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories of job losses, deferred investments, higher prices and other negative consequences for farmers and businesses in communities across the country impacted by tariffs.

Continue reading “Leading Trade Organizations Join Together in Major Campaign Against Tariffs”