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Previewing the North Carolina Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

As we prepare for the upcoming North Carolina primary, it is important to keep in mind the detrimental effects that tariffs have had on North Carolinians. 

As data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland reveals, North Carolina taxpayers have paid $1.2 billion in additional tariffs since the trade war with China first began. 

Democratic presidential candidates cannot ignore the negative impact that the trade war has had on North Carolina’s economy. Trade supports over 1.2 million jobs in the state, and 63,500 jobs could be lost if tariffs are not lifted.

Tariffs are taxes paid for by North Carolina families, farmers, businesses, and communities, and industries across the entire state are bearing the costs. Agriculture, which is the largest sector of North Carolina’s economy, has been hit particularly hard, with exports of tobacco and soybeans sharply declining. 

In November, NPR reported that the trade war with China is particularly hurting tobacco farmers in North Carolina. Brian Leggett, who has grown tobacco for 15 years, said: 

“I don’t know of a grower in North Carolina that has a plan for next year. Survival is the plan right now.”

Without tariff relief, farmers will continue to lose money from some of North Carolina’s most important industries. 

Despite the recent Phase One Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China, problems still persist. China is one of North Carolina’s largest export markets, making trade relations with China a vital part of the state’s economy. According to a story in the News and Observer, the trade war has “decimated” the export market in North Carolina. In 2017, North Carolina tobacco farmers exported $162 million in crops to China, but in 2018 that number dropped to $4 million.

As Larry Wooten, farmer and president of the N.C. Farm Bureau said about the impact of the trade wars:

“The damage is deep and it’s ongoing.”

It’s time for every candidate to commit to removing all tariffs that remain in place and finally bring an end to the trade war that is devastating the economy.

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting North Carolina residents ahead of the primary, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

Previewing the Virginia Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

As we prepare for the Virginia primary, it is important to keep in mind the significant effects that tariffs have had both in the Commonwealth and across the country.

As data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland reveals, Virginia taxpayers have paid $785 million in additional tariffs since the trade war with China first began. 

Democratic presidential candidates cannot ignore the negative impact that the trade war has had on Virginia’s economy. 

Trade supports 1.1 million jobs in the Commonwealth, and 64,500 jobs could be lost if tariffs continue. The Washington Post reported that chief executive of Northwest Hardwoods Nathan Jeppson canceled a $1.8 million order for forklifts, shuttered a pair of sawmills in Virginia, and laid off 130 workers due to the fallout from President Trump’s trade war with China.

“Roughly 25 to 30 percent of our revenues have disappeared,” Jeppson said. “It’s been devastating.”

Tariffs are taxes paid for by Virginia families, farmers, businesses, and communities, and industries across the entire state are bearing the costs from soybean and tobacco farmers, to auto manufacturers and lumber producers. Virginia Business highlighted how John Wesley Boyd Jr., a soybean farmer in Mecklenburg, Virginia, has been struck by tariffs.

“We’re in trouble. … The prices have dropped dramatically and we don’t see any end in sight.”

Despite the signing of the recent Phase One Deal between the U.S. and China, trade uncertainty still remains. Shelley Barlow, a cotton farmer in Suffolk, Virginia explained in the Hampton Roads Business Journal how farming is an optimistic industry and the current tariff situation is unsustainable: “We have got to get back to some sort of normalized trade.”

While the Phase One Deal has provided some relief, much more work remains. That’s why it’s important that presidential candidates lay out a plan to remove all tariffs that have hurt Virginians and Americans nationwide.

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Virginians ahead of the primary, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

Previewing the Minnesota Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

In the lead-up to the Minnesota primary, tariffs remain a major problem that threaten business owners, farmers, and communities throughout Minnesota and across the United States.

Analysis from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows that to date, Minnesota taxpayers have paid $932 million in additional tariffs since the trade war with China began. Beyond this, trade supports 752,100 jobs in the state, and 36,800 jobs could be lost if Minnesota businesses don’t receive the relief they need from the trade war.

This is precisely why Democratic presidential candidates need to show Minnesotans that they are dedicated to helping the state recover from the damage dealt by tariffs and lay out a plan to finally bring the trade war to an end. 

As the trade war continues to drag on, it’s becoming more apparent than ever that Americans are the ones paying for tariffs — not China. The Star Tribune recently reported on this, noting that the only certainty business owners can count on with tariffs is the uncertainty they cause. Michael Minsberg, the president and co-owner of Creative Lighting in St. Paul, spoke to this point: 

“If relief is on the horizon, it has not gotten to us … Tariffs … are actually a
status quo situation that everyone has gotten used to.”

Minsberg isn’t alone, either. Late last year, NPR shed a spotlight on Dan Digre, the president of Misco Speakers in St. Paul. According to Digre, it’s American businesses like his that are paying for the tariffs: 

“It comes out of our bottom line … And that’s the money that we need to be
reinvesting in new technology, in new products — all of the things that makes
your business competitive in a global economy.”

The harm caused by tariffs spreads beyond the small business industry into the agricultural sector as well. Soybean farmers have been at the center of the U.S.-China trade war, and that holds especially true in Minnesota, which is the third-largest producer of soybeans in the U.S. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson has even spoken out on the issue, as reported in MinnPost:

“These tariffs are definitely hurting Minnesota farmers right now … Losing any
market is incredibly painful, and it’s resulted in farm income is at an historic
low.”

While the Phase One Deal serves as a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work needed in order to finally remove all tariffs that remain in place, and Democratic presidential candidates need to show Minnesotans that it’s work they’re willing to do. 

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Minnesota residents ahead of the primary, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

Previewing Super Tuesday: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

Looking ahead to Super Tuesday, tariffs remain a significant problem that threaten business owners, farmers, and communities throughout America and in key states such as Minnesota, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows that to date, taxpayers in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Virginia have paid a combined $2.9 billion in additional tariffs since the trade war with China began. Beyond this, trade supports over 2.3 million jobs in these three states, and 164,800 jobs could be lost if businesses don’t receive the relief they need from the trade war.

This is exactly why Democratic presidential candidates need to show Minnesotans, North Carolinians, and Virginians that they are laser-focused on helping these states recover from the damage brought by tariffs and lay out a plan to finally bring the trade war to an end. 

As the trade war continues to drag on, it’s becoming more apparent than ever that Americans are the ones paying for tariffs — not China. Late last year, NPR shed a spotlight on Dan Digre, the president of Misco Speakers in St. Paul. According to Digre, it’s American businesses like his that are paying for the tariffs: 

“It comes out of our bottom line … And that’s the money that we need to be
reinvesting in new technology, in new products — all of the things that makes
your business competitive in a global economy.”

Agriculture, the largest sector of North Carolina’s economy, has been hit particularly hard, with exports of tobacco and soy sharply declining. As Larry Wooten, farmer and president of the N.C. Farm Bureau said about the impact of the trade wars:

“The damage is deep and it’s ongoing.”

Despite the signing of the recent Phase One Deal between the U.S. and China, trade uncertainty still remains. Shelley Barlow, a cotton farmer in Suffolk, Virginia explained in the Hampton Roads Business Journal how farming is an optimistic industry and the current tariff situation is unsustainable: “We have got to get back to some sort of normalized trade.”

While the Phase One Deal has provided some relief, more work remains. That’s why it’s important that presidential candidates lay out a plan to remove all tariffs that have hurt Minnesotans, North Carolinians, Virginians, and Americans nationwide.

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Super Tuesday residents ahead of the primaries, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

AFT: House Ways and Means Committee Hearing Reaffirmed Tariffs Hurt American Businesses, Must Be Removed

WASHINGTON, D.C., (February 27, 2020) – Today, spokesperson for Americans for Free Trade Jonathan Gold released the following statement regarding the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China Trade and Competition: 

“Testimony at yesterday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing reaffirmed what so many American businesses, farmers, consumers, and workers know to be true — tariffs are hurting our economy, killing American jobs, and creating uncertainty that hinders investment and economic growth. China must be held accountable for their unfair trade practices, but President Trump’s trade war and tariffs are not the solution. Just last week, White House economists confirmed that the trade war has depressed our economy. While the Phase One Deal is a step in the right direction, the administration must go further and negotiate a Phase Two Deal that completely lifts all tariffs.”

Previewing the South Carolina Primary: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

Good morning – 

As we prepare for the South Carolina primary, it is important to keep in mind the detrimental effects that tariffs have had both on South Carolinians and hardworking Americans across the country.

As data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland reveals, South Carolina taxpayers have paid $836 million in additional tariffs since the trade war with China first began. 

Democratic presidential candidates cannot ignore the negative impact that the trade war has had on South Carolina’s economy. Trade supports 550,700 jobs in the state, and 31,500 jobs could be lost if tariffs continue.

Tariffs are taxes paid for by South Carolina families, farmers, businesses, and communities, and industries across the entire state are bearing the costs. For example, Statehouse Report notes that corn, soybeans, and cotton – which are the three crops most affected by the U.S.-China tariffs – occupy more than 1.3 million acres in the state and account for a half billion dollars of the agricultural products grown in South Carolina. Without tariff relief, farmers will continue to lose money from some of South Carolina’s most important crops.

Manufacturing has suffered from tariffs as well. In August, The State reported on manufacturing closures in South Carolina, with Russ Gibson, head of operations for Anachroma U.S., Inc.’s plant in Martin, S.C., saying this:

“For us, (the trade war is) hurting the U.S. manufacturing industry … This is an unintended consequence of the tariffs. It’s causing people their livelihood in the last 24 hours, and will continue if we do not see immediate action.”

Despite the recent Phase One Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China, problems still persist. China has been the state’s largest export market since 2013, making trade with China is a vital part of South Carolina’s economy. As Greenville Mayor Knox White told the South China Morning Post, it can be hard to recover once the initial tariff damage sets in:

“The disruption of those relationships and how far-reaching that will be, whether they can be repaired and how long it would take to repair them, those are consequences we will be living with no matter if everything was over with tomorrow … People move on.”

It’s time for every candidate to commit to removing all tariffs that remain in place and finally bring an end to the trade war that is devastating the economy.

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting South Carolina residents ahead of the primary, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

White House Economists Say Tariffs Depressed Economy

The new White House Economic Report of the President was released yesterday, and despite the fact that the report barely touched on the negative impacts of Trump’s trade policies, White House economists confirmed in a briefing that tariffs — and the uncertainty caused by the trade war — depressed the economy.

Bloomberg notes this acknowledgement directly contrasts President Trump’s claims that his trade policies have revitalized and boosted the economy.

And as Reuters points out, global trade battles resulted in significant hits towards business investment. Tomas Philipson, acting chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said:

“Once we got renegotiation of trade agreements, we saw uncertainty in the market, and investment took a hit.”

White House economists also said that tariffs contributed to the weak manufacturing numbers that the United States has been experiencing. International Business Times reported,

“In the economic report, Philipson and Tyler Goodspeed, a fellow White House economist, wrote that, “uncertainty about trade policy is one often-cited culprit in the manufacturing slowdown.” 

This news comes just a few weeks after reports showed the economy grew only 2.3 percent in 2019 — the weakest annual GDP growth since President Trump took office. The Wall Street Journal named tariffs as the culprit for this slow growth.While the signing of the Phase One Deal was welcomed progress and a step in the right direction, these new reports only further prove that a Phase Two Deal must be negotiated as soon as possible to remove all tariffs. Until then, American businesses, consumers, farmers, and workers will continue to suffer.

Previewing the Nevada Caucus: Tariffs Deserve Significant Attention

Heading into the Nevada caucuses, the negative impact tariffs are having on the state’s businesses, consumers, workers and families remains a critical issue.

Data from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows that taxpayers in Nevada have paid $467 million in additional tariffs to date. 

Beyond this, export data from Panjiva – a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence – reveals that Nevada is among the states hurt most by the trade war with China, losing over 20 percent of its total exports since 2017. 

Throughout the 2020 election, it is important for candidates to recognize the crucial role that trade plays in driving Nevada’s economy. Trade supports 343,900 jobs across the state, and 21,600 Nevadans could lose their jobs if trade tensions with China continue. 

As the Las Vegas Review-Journalreported, the negative impact of the trade war with China has been felt across the state’s economy. This has left Nevada business owners with the difficult decision to either absorb the costs of tariffs themselves or raise prices in order to keep their company afloat. 

Some businesses, like Cheri and Mike Tillman’s Pro Cyclery, have had no choice but to raise prices as costs for manufacturers and suppliers rise due to tariffs: 

“As soon as the tariffs were announced, the bike companies let us know they would have to start increasing (prices) so it was pretty immediate … (If) our prices go up, our prices to our customers go up.”

Other companies, like Las Vegas Mannequins, have had to completely overhaul the way they do business. Alison Wainwright, the company’s founder and chief executive, described it like this:  

“It’s been significant enough that I have a half-finished container sitting in China … At first, I thought maybe it’s not that big of a deal, depending on what type of material is on the (tariff) list, but it got to the point now where we’re just trying to sell what we got in the building and order wholesale from other importers.”

The Phase One Trade Deal with China has provided some relief, but more work remains. It is imperative that presidential candidates recognize this and lay out a plan to end the tariffs that have hurt Nevada businesses and consumers. 

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and how it is hurting Nevadans ahead of the caucuses, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.

ICYMI: Exports to China fell in most states due to tariffs

A new Federal Reserve report reveals how U.S. exporters have been hit by President Trump’s tariffs, and as reported by Bloomberg, exporters from most U.S. states experienced dismal sales to China last year due to tariffs. 

“Particularly hard hit were some of the nation’s largest exporters to the Asian country — Texas, Florida and Alabama — which each saw sales plunge by more than 25%.”

In fact, the total U.S. merchandise exports to China fell 11% last year according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department. And despite the signing of the Phase One Deal, it’s uncertain if U.S. exports to China will improve this year at all.

HillReporter.com echoed this notion as well, citing that the trade crisis will not be ending soon, and that the impact will continue to be felt by Americans nationwide:

“The tariffs are hurting American businesses in major ways as well. Last fall, a report from a nonprofit pro-business group called ‘Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’ found that the trade war, up to October of 2019, had cost U.S. companies more than $34 billion.”

The latest data only further proves that until a Phase Two Deal is negotiated and all tariffs are lifted, American businesses, consumers, farmers, and workers will continue to experience hardship.

As Partial Tariff Reductions Go Into Effect Today, AFT Calls on Administration to Negotiate a Phase Two Deal, Lift All Tariffs

WASHINGTON, D.C., (February 14, 2020) – Last month, President Trump signed a Phase One Deal with China in order to reduce tariffs and relieve some of the burden caused by the trade war. As tariff reductions on List 4A and $75 billion worth of U.S. products go into effect today, spokesperson for Americans for Free Trade Jonathan Gold released the following statement.

“It’s encouraging to see some of the Phase One Deal come to fruition. American businesses, farmers, consumers, and workers certainly need these reductions, as they have been paying the price for these tariffs since the trade war began. While this progress is a good first step, the administration must negotiate a Phase Two Deal that completely lifts all tariffs.”

BACKGROUND

Despite tariff reductions, thousands of American companies are paying a higher price for goods integral to their business. (Leticia Miranda, “Amid opaque tariff process, questions arise as to why some companies receive exemptions,” NBC News, 2/13/20)

New data shows the US government has continued to collect tens of billions of dollars in additional tariffs, despite a recent agreement to ease tit-for-tat trade tensions with China. (Gina Heeb, “The government has collected an extra $50 billion in tariffs since the start of the China trade war, according to new data,” Business Insider, 2/10/20)

Small business owner: “Like other companies facing tariffs, we had to increase our prices to cover these extra taxes.” (Jeff Greenstein, “The trade war with China has hurt my small business in Massachusetts,” The Boston Globe, 2/10/20)