Tariff concern hits record high

Tariffs are continuing to burden Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

As reported by Axios this week, a recent survey conducted by CivicScience shows that concern about President Trump’s trade war with China hit its highest level in April.

“The tariffs remain a massive tax on American businesses and individuals at a time when Congress and the Fed are expending trillions of dollars to offset the negative economic shock of the virus.”

This news comes as House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal called for a 90-day suspension of all tariffs on goods necessary to combat the COVID-19 public health crisis. Any deferral or suspension of tariffs is welcome and needed, especially as isopropyl alcohol, a critical ingredient in hand sanitizer and other disinfectants, is still subject to a 25 percent tariff.

“The tariff is making it more difficult for companies to supply our nation’s essential workers with antiseptics and sanitizing products they need to protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” Chris Jahn, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, tells Reason.

To make matters worse, China is nowhere near meeting their monthly purchase of U.S. goods, meaning that they are not holding up to their Phase One trade agreement. As Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold pointed out earlier this week,

“Adding more tariffs during a time of economic crisis will only further punish U.S. companies, manufacturers, and farmers who are already struggling to survive.”

Rather than putting new tariffs in place, the President should be focused on removing the existing tariffs in order to help American businesses survive.