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Retailers Urge Congress to Pass Tariff Relief Legislation | Tariffs Cost US $2.7 Billion per Month

By 24/7 Staff / / February 28th, 2019

As President Trump claims that billions are flowing into Treasury from tariffs, new data shows it’s coming from American companies - The National Retail Federation is calling on Congress to pass legislation to exclude some items from the administration’s tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Excluding Tariffs on $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Imports

The National Retail Federation called on Congress to pass legislation introduced today that would require that a process is established to exclude some items from the Trump administration’s tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“We are encouraged by the progress made between the United States and China, but tariffs are still taking a toll on hardworking Americans across the country,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.

“Establishing a timely and efficient tariff exclusion process is the least Washington can do for American businesses that have no alternative supplier and for working families that rely on everyday products. We are grateful for the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Senators Lankford and Coons and Representatives Kind and Walorski, and we urge Congress to move swiftly in approving this commonsense legislation.”

The first two lists of tariffs on Chinese imports, imposed last summer under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, included exclusion processes, allowing American importers to apply for tariff relief.

However, the third list, which took effect last September and targeted $200 billion of Chinese goods, including many consumer products, does not have an exclusion process.

The Import Tax Relief Act, introduced today by Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., and Chris Coons, D-Del., and Representatives Ron J. Kind, D-Wis., and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., would require the administration to provide an exclusion process for the third tariff list and any future tariffs under Section 301.

Under the legislation, exclusions would be required to be granted for imports that have no commercial availability outside of China, those for which a tariff would cause an increase in consumer prices for low- and middle-income families, and those that do not directly benefit from China’s non-market policies, including elements of its “Made in China 2025” program. 

According to data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland – a campaign backed by NRF – recent tariffs imposed by the administration cost U.S. businesses $2.7 billion in November 2018 alone.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide campaign against recent tariffs on American businesses, farmers and consumers, today released new data that shows American businesses paid an additional $2.7 billion in tariffs in November 2018 - the most recent month data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau due to the government shutdown.

This figure reflects the additional tariffs levied because of the administration’s actions and represents a $2.7 billion tax increase and a massive year-over-year increase from $375 million in tariffs on the same products in November 2017.

The historic tax increases come despite overall imports being slightly lower. The data, compiled by Trade Partnership, also shows that U.S. export growth hit its lowest level of 2018 in November, thanks in part to a 37 percent decline in exports of products facing retaliatory tariffs.

“This data shows that Americans, not our foreign competitors, are the big losers in the trade war,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Spokesman and former Congressman Charles Boustany said.

“U.S. businesses are being hit by a double whammy of historic tax increases in the form of tariffs and declining exports as farmers and manufacturers lose opportunities in the overseas markets they rely on for their livelihoods. As U.S.-China trade talks resume, we hope the administration will heed the concerns of the thousands of American companies facing unprecedented tariff costs while making further progress toward an improved trading relationship and an end to the trade war. The proposed March 1 tariff increase should be completely off the table as American businesses are already facing billions more in tariffs every month.”

The November 2018 data shows that retaliatory tariffs, in particular, have had an immediate and severe effect on US exports. In November 2018, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $4.1 billion, or 37 percent, from the previous year.

Export Growth on Products Targeted For Retaliation Nosedives

Export Growth on Products Targeted For Retaliation Nosedives

Other key takeaways from the November data:

  • Despite $426 million in monthly steel import tariffs and the Trump administration targeting even allies like Canada and Mexico with tariffs, steel imports actually INCREASED in November 2018. 
  • China Section 301 tariffs cost American companies approximately $2.1 billion in November. Products subject to the Section 301 remedies faced $2.5 billion in tariffs in October, compared to just $363 million in November 2017. Tariffs on most of these products could rise from 10 percent to 25 percent unless the U.S. and China reach a deal in the coming weeks.

Source: Tariffs Hurt the Heartland - 24/7 Support including Chat

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