ICYMI – Americans for Free Trade Tariff Talk: Ongoing Impact of China 301 Tariffs

In case you missed it, Americans for Free Trade recently hosted a “Tariff Talk” roundtable on the ongoing impact of China Section 301 tariffs, with business leaders across various industries. Participants included:

  • Ed Weinstein, Vice President, Tax and Government Affairs, JOANN Inc.
  • Harlan Stone, Chief Executive Officer, HMTX Industries
  • Erik Steffenburg, Senior Manager – Global Compliance, Brunswick Corporation 
  • Ed Gresser, Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets, Progressive Policy Institute
  • Brian Kuehl, Executive Director, Farmers for Free Trade

Kicking off the event, speakers explained the impact of the China Section 301 tariffs on their business and community:

“The section 301 tariffs imposed on products that we import from China negatively impact our company, our team members, our customers, and the U.S. economy as a whole.” – Ed Weinstein

“We are the only U.S. outboard engine manufacturer, and our competitors…are the ones benefiting. It makes no sense to us at all that an American company is paying a hefty tariff, while the very companies we are looking to get an advantage over are benefitting.” – Erik Steffenburg

“Farm families all over the United States are being squeezed by tariffs on China.” – Brian Kuehl

“These tariffs are inflationary and unfair to the American worker.” – Harlan Stone

“On the whole, it’s clear that the additional tariffs of 2018-2019 are falling most heavily on manufacturers.” – Ed Gresser

U.S. companies have tried to source products from outside of China, but that isn’t always feasible:

“All the equipment I need is only available in China. I’m importing technology from China and paying a 25% tariff on the material. Had I not paid that tariff, I probably could have started two factories by now.” – Harlan Stone

“Moving a production facility from China is not only extremely expensive, but it would really detract from our capacity to further manufacture products back here in the U.S.” – Eric Steffenburg

“We’d love to source here in the U.S., but we cannot find sources outside of China that can meet our requirements. It would take 18-24 months for other factories to be built.” – Ed Weinstein

Concern is growing over how the Biden Administration will be handling its tariff exclusions process:

“We continue to be confused about why some of our exclusion requests have been granted but others denied. We really hope that the administration is much more clear and transparent in how they decide what exclusions are granted.” – Eric Steffenburg

“If the exclusions are not extended, the cost of making articles of clothing will become more expensive, and thereby encourage consumers to purchase clothing that is foreign made, and not subject to tariffs.” – Ed Weinstein

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the Section 301 tariffs on China and their negative impact on Americans, please contact press@americansforfreetrade.com.