Via the Americans for Free Trade Coalition
August 28, 2019
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, we are writing with an urgent request that you postpone all tariff rate increases on Chinese goods that are scheduled to take effect this year. These tariff rate increases – some starting as early as Sunday – come at the worst possible time, right in the middle of the busy holiday shipping period. Action is needed by you to protect American businesses, workers and consumers this holiday season.
Our coalition 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 support tens of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains.
In remarks earlier this month, you recognized that delaying some tariffs would avoid hurting American consumers over the holidays. Unfortunately, a large portion of holiday merchandise will still be hit by September and October tariff increases at an even higher rate than was initially anticipated. With some products facing tariffs as high as 30 percent, many businesses will have no choice but to pass along those costs to consumers. Price increases will likely hit shoppers just as they are making their holiday purchases.
Furthermore, because many of our industrial inputs are still sourced in China, these new tariffs will act as a tax on U.S. manufacturers and U.S. farmers, whose costs will now increase. And because these tariffs were announced with little warning, it is impossible for U.S. importers to share the burden with supply chain partners in China or shift their production to other countries. The full adverse impact of these tariff increases will be felt entirely in the United States and could represent one of the largest tax increases in American history.
We understand your frustration with China and are opposed to the tariffs the Chinese government has imposed as well. But subjecting U.S. companies, the workers they employ, and the consumers they serve to new and unprecedented taxes takes us further away from the deal you are working to craft. Ordering companies to leave China, the world’s second largest economy, is not a solution and is unrealistic. Although companies are taking steps to diversify their supply chains, developing overseas markets is critical to reaching the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S. and in return expanding opportunities for American workers and consumers.
U.S. consumers are driving the growth of the U.S. economy. Let’s ensure consumer confidence remains high and economic prosperity continues for the American families we serve and the American workers we employ every day. A tariff delay is the gift you can give American families this holiday season.
Please protect the holiday season and delay these tariffs.
Accessories Council 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 Coatings Association, Inc. (ACA) American Down and Feather Council American Fly Fishing Trade Association American Home Furnishings Alliance American Lighting Association American Petroleum Institute American Bridal & Prom Industry Association (ABPIA) American Pyrotechnics Association American Rental Association American Specialty Toy Retailing Association American Wind Energy Association Arizona Technology Council Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association Association For Creative Industries Association for PRINT Technologies Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers Auto Care Association Beer Institute BSA | The Software Alliance California Retailers Association 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 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 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Electronic Transactions 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 Grocery Manufacturers 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 Foodservice Distributors Association International Housewares Association International Warehouse and Logistics Association International Wood Products Association Internet Association ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association Juice Products Association (JPA) Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association 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 Methanol Institute Michigan Chemistry Council Minnesota Retailers Association Missouri Retailers 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 Printing Ink Manufacturers National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) National Confectioners Association National Council of Chain Restaurants National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America 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 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 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 PeopleforBikes Personal Care Products Council Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council Petroleum Equipment & Services Association Plumbing Manufacturers International Power Tool Institute (PTI) Precious Metals Association of North America (PMANA) Promotional Products Association International 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 AssociationSan Diego Customs Brokers and Forwarders Assn. SEMI Snowsports Industries America Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Specialty Equipment Market Association Specialty Vehicle Institute of America Sports & Fitness Industry Association TechNet Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Texas Retailers Association Texas Water Infrastructure Network The Airforwarders Association The Fertilizer Institute The Hardwood Federation The Toy Association The Vinyl Institute Travel Goods Association Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association United States Council for International Business United States Fashion Industry Association US Global Value Chain Coalition US-China Business Council Virginia Retail Merchants Association Virginia-DC District Export Council (VA-DC DEC) Washington Retail Association Window and Door Manufacturers Association World Pet Association, Inc. (WPA)
CC: Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Department of the Treasury Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce Secretary Sonny Perdue, Department of Agriculture Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton, Small Business Administration Director Larry Kudlow, National Economic Council