PPAI has joined with the National Retail Federation and 64 other organizations representing U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, technology companies and other industries to submit comments to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the administration’s proposed tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs were announced in response to issues raised in the USTR Section 301 Report on China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.

The groups expressed their concern over how the proposed tariffs, along with the threat of additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, are the wrong approach and will harm U.S. companies, workers and consumers.

“Imposing tariffs on Chinese imports will not have the effect that the administration desires,” the coalition wrote. “If the goal is to open markets for U.S. goods and services abroad, the use of tariffs goes against that goal … We are no longer in a ‘trade dispute.’ The tit-for-tat tariffs have now landed us in a trade war that is starting to do real harm to U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and consumers. Tariffs hurt the economy as a whole as well as jobs and consumers in every state.”

The groups urged the administration to outline a full strategy to address long-standing issues over China’s trade practices and consult with businesses and Congress to develop a joint approach. They wrote, “The business and agriculture communities stand ready to work with the administration on a clear and concise strategy that will lead to measurable change in China’s unfair trade practices. The end goal should be a long-term solution that meaningfully addresses the commercial issues in China while promoting the competitiveness of U.S. farmers, manufacturers, workers, consumers, and businesses. Implementation of tariffs only saddles the United States with new costs, lost sales, and lost jobs.”

PPAI is on the record opposing any tariff proposals; due to the rise in consumer prices that results when tariffs are applied to products, tariffs are effectively a tax on consumers. In May, members of Congress heard this message from 80 volunteers during PPAI L.E.A.D., and industry professionals can send the same message to their legislators without having to set up a meeting. PPAI LAW has a series of pre-populated letters that can be sent to members of Congress. Click here to inform elected officials about the negative impact tariffs would have on the promotional products industry.

With Congress’ annual August recess approaching, industry professionals also have an opportunity to meet with legislators and their staffers to discuss the economic impact of the tariffs, and the importance of the promotional products industry. These meetings can take place in a variety of ways, including in-person visits, attendance at various town hall events and inviting the legislator on a tour of work facilities. For information about identifying your member of Congress and contacting them for a meeting, PPAI’s August Recess Advocacy page offers all the tools necessary to plan and execute these initiatives.