- Hundreds of company and industry representatives descended on Washington this month to testify about proposed escalations in the yearlong US-China trade war.
- Many manufacturing representatives warned during the first two days of hearings that plans to target another $300 billion worth of imports from China would lead to higher costs for Americans and threaten US jobs.
- Here’s what they told the Trump administration, according to US Trade Representative transcripts.
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Hundreds of company and industry representatives descended on Washington this month to testify about proposed escalations in the yearlong US-China trade war, which President Donald Trump has suggested could take effect soon after his planned meeting at the end of the week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Speaking before US trade officials, a large number of manufacturing representatives warned during the first two days of hearings that plans to target another $300 billion worth of imports from China would lead to higher costs for Americans and threaten US jobs.
The hearings were set to last seven days, with witnesses allowed to speak for five minutes each. Here’s what they told the Trump administration, according to US Trade Representative transcripts.
REUTERS / Brian Snyder
These tariffs will continue to do irreparable harm to our small business. The Section 301 tariffs from List One and Three have resulted in an unexpected cost of over $600,000, which is significant for a small business like ours. We have determined that an additional cost of the List Four tariffs on our business would be almost $1 million. –Teresa Hack, Channel Products
Imposition of these duties will make the problem of intellectual property theft by China worse, not better. – Ray Sharrah, Streamlight Inc.
These proposed actions would assist in eliminating China’s unfair acts, policies, and practices. And they would not cause disproportion economic harm to U.S. interests, including small or medium sized businesses and consumers. – Mike Branson, Rheem Manufacturers Company
In assembling in the United States, we are striving to achieve the Administration’s goal of shifting production out of China. However a tariff on this component will significantly restrict our ability to do so efficiently and economically. – Jennifer Dolin, Ledvance LLC
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
We support holding US trading partners accountable, and using targeted trade remedies against intellectual property theft, illegal dumping, or subsidies and other proven trade violations consistent with international rules. We also strongly believe that the newly proposed List Four tariffs will only harm US economic interests. – Kerry Stackpole, Plumbing Manufacturers International
The tariffs would deprive many people access to these critical products. This is particularly true as we approach the hurricane season where portable lights are routinely called upon in lifesaving situations. – Thomas Beckett, Portable Lights American Trade Organization
PESA believes that some of the proposed tariffs will not be successful in the USTR’s states goal of combating China’s unfair trade practices. And instead could unintentionally harm the energy manufacturing and service sectors, areas where the US currently enjoys worldwide dominance. – Tim Tarpley, Petroleum Equipment & Services
As the Committee recognized then, rather than addressing China’s egregious violations of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, imposing these tariffs on high-cost, low-tech pieces of equipment would in fact damage important strategic objectives of modernizing important U.S. infrastructure and put the economic health of our communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia and our country in jeopardy. – John Reinhart, Virginia Port Authority
The application of the tariffs is effectively a tax on infrastructure that will negatively affect not just our port, but multiple US ports, damaging an important strategic objective of the US of modernizing seaports and improving US infrastructure and will cause disproportional economic harm to US interests by putting the economic health of our nation’s ports in jeopardy. – Glenn Wiltshire, Broward County Port Everglades Department
We have seen that these tariffs are adversely impacting American jobs. One of our members canceled the planned addition of 100 US jobs and some of our members have been forced to shift manufacturing out of the United States, which is contrary to the administration’s goals. – Jennifer Cleary, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
So, outcomes: lost jobs; direct investment by Chinese companies, Loftex and others. In our case, lost jobs estimate, 25 percent, maybe $600,000 in local jobs. Depending on the timeframe, it could be longer; it could be more. If the tariffs last longer, the impact on jobs goes up. – Charles Gaenslen, Loftex Home
By finally addressing China’s massive illegal trade activity in the textile sector, the Trump Administration could help direct new investment, production, and employment through the US-Western Hemisphere textile and apparel production chain. – Daniel Nation, Parkdale Mills
Jeff Swensen / Stringer
This has a high potential to cause extreme distress to small businesses that lack the liquidity to absorb these high losses, increasing the risk of default or bankruptcy. – Brandon Peckman, Real Trading LLC
Will the tariff on these materials have a negative effect on the Chinese economy? No. Is the US steel industry in favor of these tariffs on these raw materials? Absolutely not. Will the tariffs on these items negatively impact the competitiveness of the US steel industry? Yes, they will. – John Karson, FX Mineral Inc.
Indeed, to put the proposed tariffs on this critical raw material we can only obtain from China would do nothing to harm China. It will, instead, only harm us. – James Archibald, Wm. T. Burnett and Co.
The proposed changes to tariffs creates disproportion harm to U.S. individuals, companies, and the communities in which we operate. These tariffs would also result in a substantial loss of high-paying ancillary jobs in transportation, warehousing, service, and other industries. – John Hayes, Ball Corporation
Ted S. Warren/AP
Our company was experiencing significant growth prior to the tariff discussions. And was planning to invest in additional resources in the U.S. to expand the — to support the expansion. Due to the proposed tariff increase, all new investments are on hold. And our focus is on cost reduction and downsizing. – Robert Gaither, Shen Wei USA
If Make Right were no longer available to customers because of effects from increased tariffs, there will be insufficient supply of these products to satisfy US demand. – Adam Freedman, Makrite North America
Since many of the name brand producers will not be subject to Section 301 tariffs, multinational can and will take advantage of the lack of competition product pricing from Drexel to increase their prices in the agricultural market. In the end, small farmers will pay the price. – Stanley Bernard, Drexel Chemical Company
One unintended consequence that every member is facing is the burden tariffs are having on company resources. According to a member, understanding the impact has consumed resources in purchasing, product management, sales, and customer service functions that otherwise would be devoted to growing the business. – William Hanvey, Auto Care Association