News & Press Releases


AFT Statement on USTR Tariff Continuation Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C., (September 7, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold released the below statement following last week’s announcement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative that it has received requests to continue Section 301 tariffs on imports from China:

“Last week’s announcement from the United States Trade Representative is a disappointing and frustrating development for the countless American businesses, families, and consumers who continue to be harmed by these tariffs. USTR’s announcement – released late in the day heading into a holiday weekend – failed to provide transparency into the continuation requests it has received, offered no insight into Phase 2 of the review process, and provided no guidance for those who oppose the tariffs to weigh in.

“As we pointed out in our recent comments to the International Trade Commission, these tariffs have cost Americans more than $150 billion to date. Now, as the state of the economy grows increasingly uncertain it is imperative that USTR immediately makes all continuance requests publicly available, and also provides a comprehensive and transparent notice, comment and public hearing process for those hurt by the tariffs to voice their opposition.”


AFT Calls on USTR to Provide Transparency, Open Up Phase 2 of 4-Year Review

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 24, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold today released the following statement calling for the immediate publication of comments filed with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the extension of Section 301 China tariffs and to open up Phase 2 of their 4-year “Review of Necessity” process.

“We are calling on USTR to immediately make publicly available any comments that have been filed requesting a continuation of the Section 301 China tariffs. The necessity review process required by statute makes clear that the tariffs terminate on their four-year anniversary absent a request from domestic industry that they be continued. While comments have clearly been filed, it is not clear whether they include a continuation request for both Lists 1 and 2 (and by extension, Lists 3 and 4a). With the four-year anniversaries of the tariffs now past, the tariffs should not be allowed to remain in place if USTR does not provide transparency regarding this aspect of the process.

Further, if USTR has received a continuation request, it should immediately announce a process for stakeholders impacted by the tariffs to respond to the continuation requests – including an opportunity to detail how the tariffs have harmed them. American businesses, consumers, workers, and families have already paid over $150 billion in tariffs since the trade war began. This process should include a public hearing.

We call on Ambassador Tai to take action now to release any continuation requests received by USTR and if so, to open Phase 2 of the 4-year review process to allow American companies and industries to provide their input on the tariffs’ harmful impact.”


AFT Statement Following President Biden Call with Xi Jinping

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 2, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold released the below statement following President Joe Biden’s recent discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping:

“While it is encouraging to see President Biden and President Xi working to bridge relations between the United States and China, it is essential that trade be at the forefront of any discussion. For more than four years, the tariffs enacted by the Trump administration have added a harmful and unnecessary tension to the bilateral economic relationship between the two countries. The tariffs have not only failed to encourage China to end its detrimental trading behaviors but have created burdensome costs for American families and businesses at a time when inflation is rampant. Businesses, workers and families across the U.S. are relying on the Biden administration to immediately repeal these tariffs.”


AFT Statement Following Senate Passage of CHIPS and Science Act of 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C., (July 27, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold released the below statement following the Senate’s passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022

“Congress has missed an opportunity to help the countless businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and consumers who continue to be harmed by the China 301 tariffs. We had hoped to see the passage of a China competition bill that included language to reinvigorate the tariffs exclusion process to provide needed tariff relief. Inaction is only making the situation worse, and we continue to call on policymakers to relieve the burden these tariffs have imposed since the start of the trade war. These tariffs are taxes that raise the prices of the goods Americans need most at a time they can least afford it, and the time to act is now.”


AFT Submits Letter to U.S. International Trade Commission Reiterating Tariffs’ Harmful Impact

WASHINGTON, D.C., (July 8, 2022) — Today, Americans for Free Trade (AFT), a broad coalition of American businesses, trade organizations, and workers united against tariffs, sent a prehearing statement to United States International Trade Commission (ITC) Chair David Johanson to include in the public record of Investigation No. 332-591, Economic Impact of Section 232 and 301 Tariffs on U.S. Industries. In the letter, AFT expressed appreciation for the ITC’s undertaking of an investigation into the effects of tariffs and reiterated the harmful impact they have had on the U.S. economy.

“Since the tariffs were first imposed nearly four years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has assessed more than $140 billion dollars in tariffs on American companies who import products from China,” Americans for Free Trade wrote. “These taxes create tremendous uncertainty, increase the cost of doing business in the United States, and place a financial burden on American businesses – negatively impacting their ability to invest in their companies, hire more American workers, and remain competitive globally.”

AFT continues to call for an open and transparent assessment of the impact tariffs have had on the U.S. economy since the beginning of the trade war with China. For more than four years, the tariffs have contributed to increased costs for American businesses, manufacturers, farmers, and consumers.

More than 170 trade associations signed on to the letter. The full text of the letter may be found here and below.

July 8, 2022

David Johanson
U.S. International Trade Commission 
500 E Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20436

RE:     Economic Impact of Section 232 and 301 Tariffs on U.S. Industries, Investigation No. 332-591

Dear Chairman Johanson,

The Americans for Free Trade coalition, a broad alliance of American businesses, trade organizations, and workers united against tariffs, respectfully submits this prehearing statement to include in the public record of Investigation No. 332-591, Economic Impact of Section 232 and 301 Tariffs on U.S. Industries. We applaud the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations for directing this investigation and appreciate the Commission commencing it without delay. We expect the study will show how the tariffs have negatively impacted our economy and contributed to record high inflation.

By way of background, Americans for Free Trade represents every part of the U.S. economy including manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. Collectively, we employ tens of millions of Americans through our vast supply chains. Our coalition was formed in 2018, when the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China were first imposed. While we support efforts to hold China accountable for failure to safeguard intellectual property rights and innovation through forced technology transfers, we raised concerns that imposing tariffs would have little positive impact on Chinese behavior and disproportionate negative economic impacts on American businesses, workers, and consumers. Over the last four years, that concern has become a reality.

Since the tariffs were first imposed nearly four years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has assessed more than $140 billion dollars in tariffs on American companies who import products from China. These taxes create tremendous uncertainty, increase the cost of doing business in the United States, and place a financial burden on American businesses – negatively impacting their ability to invest in their companies, hire more American workers, and remain competitive globally. For many companies, the tariffs are a primary impediment to building or expanding manufacturing facilities in the United States. More recently, American companies have faced increased uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, historic supply chain disruptions, rising energy costs, and runaway inflation. This has created increased economic pressure on American companies and families and dampened U.S. competitiveness. 

We continue to call for an end to the China 301 tariffs that have had a disproportionate economic impact on American companies, consumers, and workers and that have failed to change China’s unfair trade practices. To assist the Commission’s work, we have collected the relevant academic and think tank research on the tariffs and their impact on the U.S. economy.[1] For example, according to a recent Moody’s Investor Service Report, the tariffs “hit American businesses and consumers hardest,” with China absorbing only 7.6 percent of the tariffs “while the rest of the tab was picked up by Americans.” Further, recent articles have highlighted that the tariffs are having a modest but real impact on inflationary pressures.[2] We believe the Commission’s investigation will reach similar conclusions.

We appreciate the Commission’s expertise and its undertaking of this important investigation. We look forward to participating in additional steps of this process and the Commission’s findings.


Accessories Council

ACT | The App Association 

Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC)

ALMA, International (Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing and Acoustics)

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI)

American Association of Port Authorities

American Bakers Association

American Bridal & Prom Industry Association (ABPIA)

American Chemistry Council

American Clean Power Association 

American Down and Feather Council

American Fly Fishing Trade Association

American Home Furnishings Alliance

American Lighting Association

American Petroleum Institute

American Pyrotechnics Association

American Rental Association

American Seed Trade Association

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

American Trucking Association

Arizona Technology Council

Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association

Association For Creative Industries

Association for PRINT Technologies

Association of American Publishers 

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) 

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

Auto Care Association

Beer Institute

BSA | The Software Alliance

Business Alliance for Customs Modernization

California Retailers Association

Can Manufacturers Institute

Carolina Loggers Association

Chemical Industry Council of Delaware (CICD) 

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT)

Coalition of Services Industries (CSI)

Colorado Retail Council

Columbia River Customs Brokers and Forwarders Assn.

Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

Consumer Brands Association

Consumer Technology Association

Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

CropLife America

Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Assn. of Washington State

Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders of Northern California

Electronic Transactions Association 

Energy Workforce & Technology Council

Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance 

Experiential Designers and Producers Association 

Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA)

Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association

Flexible Packaging Association

Florida Ports Council

Florida Retail Federation

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA)

Fragrance Creators Association

Game Manufacturers Association

Gemini Shippers Association

Georgia Retailers

Global Chamber® 

Global Cold Chain Alliance 

Greeting Card Association

Halloween Industry Association

Home Fashion Products Association

Home Furnishings Association

Household and Commercial Products Association

Idaho Retailers Association

Illinois Retail Merchants Association

Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA)

Indiana Retail Council

Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)

International Foodservice Distributors Association

International Housewares Association

International Warehouse and Logistics Association (IWLA)

International Wood Products Association

ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association

Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee

Juice Products Association (JPA)

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association

Leather and Hide Council of America

Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association

Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Assn.

Louisiana Retailers Association

Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association

Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association

Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay

Maryland Retailers Association

Michigan Chemistry Council

Michigan Retailers Association

Minnesota Retailers Association

Missouri Retailers Association

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

Motorcycle Industry Council

NAPIM (National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers)

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)

National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) 

National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ)

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Music Merchants

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM)

National Confectioners Association

National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

National Fisheries Institute

National Foreign Trade Council

National Grocers Association

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association 

National Marine Manufacturers Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association

National Sporting Goods Association

Natural Products Association

New Jersey Retail Merchants Association

North American Association of Food Equipment 

Manufacturers (NAFEM)

North American Association of Uniform 

Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD)

North Carolina Retail Merchants Association

Ohio Council of Retail Merchants

Outdoor Industry Association

Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and 

Freight Forwarders Assns. Inc.

Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association


Personal Care Products Council

Pet Advocacy Network 

Pet Food Institute

Plumbing Manufacturers International 

Power Tool Institute (PTI)

PRINTING United Alliance

Promotional Products Association International (PPAI)

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association 

Retail Association of Maine

Retail Council of New York State

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Retailers Association of Massachusetts

RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)

RV Industry Association

San Diego Customs Brokers and Forwarders Assn.


Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)

Snowsports Industries America

Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

South Dakota Retailers Association

Specialty Equipment Market Association

Specialty Vehicle Institute of America 

Sports & Fitness Industry Association


Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Texas Water Infrastructure Network 

The Airforwarders Association

The Fertilizer Institute

The Hardwood Federation

Toy Association

Travel Goods Association

Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA)

United States Council for International Business

United States Fashion Industry Association

US Global Value Chain Coalition

US-China Business Council

Vinyl Institute

Virginia Association of Chain Drug Stores

Virginia Retail Federation

Virginia-DC District Export Council (VA-DC DEC)

Washington Retail Association

Water Quality Association

Window and Door Manufacturers Association

World Pet Association, Inc. (WPA)


New Data Shows Trade War With China Has Cost Americans $129 Billion

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 29, 2022) — New data released by Americans for Free Trade, a broad coalition united in the fight against tariffs, reveals the steep price United States businesses, consumers, workers, and manufacturers have paid as part of the ongoing trade war with China. 

Americans have paid an estimated $129 billion in Section 301 tariffs between July 2018 and April 2022, and there is no sign that Section 301 tariffs are slowing. In fact, the last nine months (August 2021 – April 2022) have proven to be the most expensive yet.

“Between the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs from inflation, the last thing that American businesses and consumers should have to worry about are tariffs. Enough is enough,” said Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold. “It’s been over four years since the trade war began, and people across the country are only continuing to suffer. If the Biden administration is serious about promoting worker-centric policies, it will move swiftly to remove the harmful tariffs and help U.S. companies recover.”

The data also showed that:

  • The average monthly Section 301 tariffs paid under President Biden ($3.8 billion) are 67% higher than average monthly 301 tariffs paid under President Trump ($2.3 billion).
  • About 55% of Section 301 tariffs were paid under President Trump ($71 billion) versus 45% under President Biden ($57 billion).
  • Companies were able to avoid $21 billion in payments to the government up until the Section 301 tariffs exclusions were mostly ended on December 31, 2020.


ICYMI – Business Leaders Discuss Tariffs’ Continued Damage

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 22, 2022) — In case you missed it, Americans for Free Trade recently hosted a “Tariff Talk” roundtable with business leaders across various industries. Participants included:

  • Chris DiTullio, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, JOANN – Hudson, OH
  • Sherrill Mosee, Inventor and Designer of MinkeeBlue – Philadelphia, PA
  • Joe Shamie, Co-President of Delta Children’s Products – New York, NY
  • Rob Cohen, VP, Display Supply & Lighting, Inc. – Boston, MA
  • Joe Bell, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Deena Ghazarian, Founder/CEO, Austere – Wilsonville, OR
  • Anne Leventry, President, PanAmerican Seed Company – Chicago, IL

Kicking off the event, speakers took the time to note what tariffs really are: taxes on American businesses, consumers, and workers.

“The tariffs are really a tax on small businesses like ours.” – Rob Cohen

“This 25 percent tariff that you have put on, basically parents, is a tax on those individuals that have so many other expenses when a new child comes into their life. Why would you put 25 percent additional cost on [parents] developing safe places for their children to sleep, for their children to play, and for their children to enjoy?” – Joe Shamie

Throughout the event, participants also highlighted how the trade war with China has personally affected their companies:

“Small businesses like mine have taken a hit from tariffs, a global pandemic, rising logistics costs and increased employment costs. The Administration and Congress should take steps to provide tariff relief so small businesses can endure these challenges and thrive.” – Deena Ghazarian

“We would like to stay American-based, but these kinds of policies are very problematic for us.” – Anne Leventry

“I have raised my prices a little bit, but it really does not cover all of the additional costs with the tariffs.” – Sherrill Mosee

Inflation concerns were top-of-mind:

“Our customers, the American people, are in great need of inflation relief, and rescinding these tariffs can help achieve that goal.” – Chris DiTullio

“How many more blows can small businesses afford to take? A rescission of these tariffs can help us all feel relief from the inflationary market we are living in.” – Rob Cohen

“The tariffs are adding costs to an already inflationary market … As I stated we’re a small company and this has caused us to raise our cost to our customers.” – Joe Bell

Business leaders concluded that it’s time for the Biden administration to finally take action and address the trade war with China:

“I believe one of the most important actions the administration can take to help real Americans with inflation is to rescind the Trump-era Section 301 tariffs.” – Chris DiTullio

“I’m asking that the president really look into this, especially for a small business as myself to lower those taxes.” – Sherrill Mosee

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and its negative impact on Americans, please contact


AFT Statement on Biden Administration China Diplomatic Relations Strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold released the below statement following yesterday’s speech by Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the Biden administration’s strategy for U.S. diplomatic relations with China.

“As Secretary Blinken noted in his speech, trade should support and create new opportunities for U.S. workers. However, that goal remains out of reach for many, as tariffs imposed by the previous administration remain in place on more than $350 billion worth of goods imported from China. These tariffs are taxes on American families, businesses, farmers, and manufacturers, and have been wholly ineffective in pushing China to end its abusive trade practices. For the Biden administration’s approach to relations with China to be successful, it must prioritize bringing this long-running trade war to an end.”


ICYMI: AFT Event Highlights Tariffs’ Ongoing Impact

WASHINGTON, D.C., (May 25, 2022) — Earlier this week, Americans for Free Trade held a “Tariff Talk” with speakers from four top think tanks to get their perspective on the trade war’s continued impact on the American economy as the Office of the United States Trade Representative conducts its four-year review of the tariffs.

You can find a video of the full AFT Tariff Talk, which was hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) at the CTA Innovation House, on our Twitter page here.

Featured speakers at the event, which was moderated by Politico’s Doug Palmer, included:

  • Ed Gresser, Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets at the Progressive Policy Institute
  • Christine McDaniel, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Zach Moller, Director of the Economic Program for Third Way
  • Tori Smith, Director of International Economic Policy for the American Action Forum

Throughout the event, speakers reiterated a truth that businesses throughout the nation are all too familiar with: tariffs are taxes on American families, workers, and businesses:

“The wide consensus of economists is that consumers eventually pay the tariff.” – Ed Gresser, Progressive Policy Institute

“We know that tariffs are taxes on you and me.” – Tori Smith, American Action Forum

But, as Third Way’s Zach Moller pointed out, “We cannot talk about tariffs today without talking about their impact on inflation.”

Inflation is top-of-mind for American voters and policymakers alike, with rising prices sure to have a dramatic impact on this year’s midterm elections. The urgency of the issue and the way tariffs contribute to increased costs were a primary focus for many of the event’s speakers:

“We need to be fighting inflation literally every way we can. Lowering tariffs is a way Democrats and the Biden administration could act on inflation, and I’m frankly surprised we haven’t seen more action on it.” – Zach Moller, Third Way

“[Lifting the tariffs] is not going to be a panacea [for inflation], but it’s certainly going to help. And you’re going to get a lot better bang for the buck when you do all the other good things you should be doing.” – Christine McDaniel, Mercatus Center

Speakers each had different ideas for what exactly the future could hold for American trade policy, but the common conclusion was that regardless of what shape that policy takes, it is time for the tariffs to go:

“I think it’s obvious to say that it’s time for these tariffs to go.” – Tori Smith, American Action Forum

“There’s very little awareness of tariffs as part of the tax system and what we’re taxing and why is it that we’ve allowed such a weirdly regressive tariff system … it’s something that’s very ripe for reform.” – Ed Gresser, Progressive Policy Institute

As the Mercatus Center’s Christine McDaniel pointed out, “In all this, we have lost sight of the American business … The vast majority don’t want these tariffs.” 

If you are interested in speaking with someone about the trade war and its negative impact on Americans, please contact