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News Archive

Month: September 2018

ICYMI: Tariff Pain Spreads Across Country as Trade War Escalates

With the latest wave of tariffs, the trade war is now spreading to every corner of the American economy. From agriculture to manufacturing to retail, American businesses have been hit hard by these taxes. Now the tax increase has spread to consumers with new duties on everyday items Americans rely on to provide for their families.

Read more about Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’s efforts to highlight tariff pain across the country and the American businesses, workers, and families affected by these new taxes.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Town Hall with Farmers, Manufacturers and Retailers in Columbus, Ohio

QUOTE FROM GORDON GOUGH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE OHIO COUNCIL OF RETAIL MERCHANTS: “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and families in Ohio. Retailers in Ohio have limited resources, so they won’t be able to simply absorb the cost of these new taxes. Instead, these costs will show up in the form of fewer jobs and higher prices for Ohioans. As businesses brace for the impact of this escalating trade war, they’re rightfully frustrated because American consumers and job creators shouldn’t be forced to pay for the unfair practices of our trading partners. There has to be a better way to achieve a better deal for our country, and we hope the administration will start to heed that message.”

FOX 17-NASHVILLE: Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Town Hall Highlights Trade Pain

 

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ABC 7 DENVER: Trade war to blame for rising construction costs, higher home prices in Colorado

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NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION: How Tariffs Impact an NYC Small Business

 

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KNEB: Business Groups Criticize Strategy to Keep Upping the Tariff Ante Between US, China

Meanwhile, a coalition announced last week that “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,” a campaign that grew out of “Farmers for Free Trade” and the National Retail Federation, is holding its first town-hall event Tuesday in Chicago. Other events are planned later this month in Nashville, Pennsylvania and Ohio to oppose the Trump administration’s tariff policies. More than 80 groups from an array of industries are tied to the initiative. “Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple,” said Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and a vice president at the National Retail Federation. “By choosing to unilaterally raise taxes on Americans, the cost of running a farm, factory or business will grow. READ MORE

WASHINGTON POST: ‘This Could Be Catastrophic.’ Small Businesses Say New Tariffs Will Make It Even Harder to Compete

Small businesses around the country say they are bracing for the latest round of tariffs, which could cut into already-thin profits and leave them with little recourse but to pass on additional costs to consumers beginning this holiday season. … “A 25 percent bump at the wholesale level could end up being a 40 or 50 percent increase by the time something gets to the sales floor,” said Adam Rossi, owner of Adam Solar Rides, which sells electric bicycles, skateboards and hoverboards in Pittsburgh. “The American consumer just isn’t willing to pay that much more.” READ MORE

TIME: All the Major Retailers that Say They’ll Have to Raise Prices Because of New Tariffs on China

New tariffs on Chinese imports will raise the prices of items you buy every day, according to warnings from major retailers like Walmart and Target. … The consensus among many American retailers and small business owners is that the tariffs themselves will hurt business — and that the pain will be passed along to American shoppers in the form of higher prices on a vast array of goods. The new tariffs affect imports ranging from canned vegetables to wood furniture, and seem to affect at least some of the products from major consumer brands like Crocs, Nike, Apple, and Procter & Gamble. READ MORE

BUSINESS INSIDER: JCPenny Warns That Trump’s Tariffs Will Worsen the Retail Apocalypse

JCPenney’s counsel David M. Spooner came out against the opening salvo of the trade war in a letter to US trade representative Robert E. Lighthizer. According to Spooner, the tariffs will burden middle-class shoppers and may even amp up the retail apocalypse. “No retailer will be able to simply absorb the cost of a 10% percent tariff, much less a 25% tariff in today’s ultracompetitive retail environment,” Spooner wrote in the September 6 letter. “That means consumers will pay higher prices.” READ MORE

WASHINGTON POST: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs

Cedar Electronics has been selling CB radios to American truckers since the 1960s, helping connect the workers who keep the U.S. economy rolling. But these days Cedar’s business isn’t exactly trucking along. The Chicago-based company is racing around Asia looking for other countries to host its manufacturing, after the radios Cedar makes in China and brings to the United States were hit with one of the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariffs this summer, making them more expensive to import. … More than 80 industry and agricultural groups this month backed a multimillion-dollar campaign, “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,” to oppose the White House effort. The groups are holding town hall events and running advertising arguing that the tariffs are causing job loss and higher prices for consumers. READ MORE

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Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is the largest bipartisan campaign solely focused on amplifying the diverse and powerful voices of the families, farmers, factory workers, manufacturers, retailers, energy and technology companies, importers, exporters and other supply-chain stakeholders hurt by tariffs. Visit TariffsHurt.com to learn more.

Ohio Businesses Express Concern Over Tariffs at Columbus Town Hall

Ohioans Participate in Columbus Roundtable to Highlight the Impact of Tariffs on Their Businesses and Livelihoods

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Yesterday a group of Ohio businesses, farmers and trade experts met at the Columbus Convention Center to discuss how tariffs are affecting local businesses. The event is part of the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country.

Panelists focused on the broad range of Ohio industries and businesses that will be impacted by the new tariffs.

  • Moderator Gordon Gough, President and CEO, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants
  • Ian Sheldon, Ohio State Economist, Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy
  • Wally Kandel, Senior Vice President, Specialty Polymers & Marietta Site Manager, Solvay
  • Bret Davis, Soybean farmer, Delaware, Ohio
  • Maggie Sheely, Manager of Congressional & Public Affairs, US Chamber, Great Lakes Region

“Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and families in Ohio,” Ohio Council of Retail Merchants President and CEO Gordon Gough said. Retailers in Ohio have limited resources, so they won’t be able to simply absorb the cost of these new taxes. Instead, these costs will show up in the form of fewer jobs and higher prices for Ohioans. As businesses brace for the impact of this escalating trade war, they’re rightfully frustrated because American consumers and job creators shouldn’t be forced to pay for the unfair practices of our trading partners. There has to be a better way to achieve a better deal for our country, and we hope the administration will start to heed that message.”

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Indianapolis to hear from Indianans about the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.

The campaign recently released an interactive searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.

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CONTACT: Matt McAlvanah ([email protected]) or Melanie Lehnhardt ([email protected])

‘Beyond Frustrated’ Ohio Farmers, Manufacturers, Retailers Feel Sting of Escalating Trade War

QUOTE FROM GORDON GOUGH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE OHIO COUNCIL OF RETAIL MERCHANTS: “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and families in Ohio. Retailers in Ohio have limited resources, so they won’t be able to simply absorb the cost of these new taxes. Instead, these costs will show up in the form of fewer jobs and higher prices for Ohioans. As businesses brace for the impact of this escalating trade war, they’re rightfully frustrated because American consumers and job creators shouldn’t be forced to pay for the unfair practices of our trading partners. There has to be a better way to achieve a better deal for our country, and we hope the administration will start to heed that message.”

‘THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETPLACE IS ON PAUSE:’ “Sean Dorsey, founder and CEO of Cleveland investment bank League Park Advisors, was working on a deal involving the purchase of a farm equipment seller before the effects of the tariff-driven trade war with China began to materialize. Major equipment sales have dialed back lately, Dorsey said, because of a slowdown in projected revenue growth for businesses that consume steel — like machinery manufacturers — in the wake of higher input costs, which are a function of the tariffs imposed under President Donald Trump. ‘In the farm world, the agricultural marketplace is on pause at some levels to see what happens with these trade wars,’ Dorsey said.” (Jeremy Nobile, “Simmering U.S.-China Trade War Is Bearing Down On M&A Sector,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, 9/16/18)

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY FROM OHIO STOREOWNER WARNS OF SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS: “‘The proposed tariffs would unintentionally amount to a Made in America tax on sewing and crafting projects completed by Americans. As a result, there will be an incentive to move production and jobs away from the United States,’ said Jill Soltau from Jo-Ann Stores in Hudson, Ohio.” (Gina Heeb,“Dozens of Retailers Testified About How Trump’s Trade War With China Could Impact Them – Here’s What They Said,” Markets Insider, 9/13/18)

OHIO FACTORY OWNERS ‘BEYOND FRUSTRATED’ WITH HIGHER COSTS FOR MATERIALS. The company would not have brought some of its manufacturing jobs from the Philippines to its facility in West Chester, Ohio, had it known that needed components from China would be targeted for duties,’ President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Cowger said. Cowger said the company may have no choice but to pass on higher costs from the duties to consumers and is forced to spend time, energy and money addressing the disruption caused by the tariffs instead of developing new products. ‘I’m beyond frustrated,’ Cowger said. ‘I should be spending my time on making this company great.’” (Mark Niquette, “Trump Duties Spur Industry Campaign to De-Escalate Trade War,” Bloomberg, 9/12/18)

7,000 PEOPLE OUT OF WORK IN LORDSTOWN, OHIO, WHERE GM IS CLOSING TWO PRODUCTION LINES: “‘These companies are taking tax breaks with one hand and handing out pink slips with the other,’ Robert Martinez Jr., the president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told USA Today. ‘I’m going to call it like I see it. … This is a corporate ambush on working people.’ It’s a refrain repeated in places like Lordstown, Ohio, where GM is closing two production lines, putting some 7,000 people out of work. Yet some union members themselves are complicit in those ambushes. Mr. Trump’s promise to keep or restore jobs in America played well in blue-collar states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, which he won by fewer than 23,000 votes.” (“Trump’s Silly War With Harley-Davidson,” The New York Times, 8/19/18)

THE TRADE WAR COULD COST OHIO $3.3 BILLION IN EXPORTS. “This isn’t the sort of list that states want to top. Too bad for Ohio, which is seventh out of the 50 states, with $3.3 billion in exports to Canada, China, Mexico and Europe that are affected by the new tariffs. It’s about what would be expected in a state that is home to 25 Fortune 500 companies — fifth most in the country — and has a large manufacturing sector.” (JD Malone & Mark Williams, “Ohio Lands at No. 7 of States Hardest Hit By Tariffs,” Norwalk Reflector, 7/25/18)

EVERY CORNER OF OHIO’S MANUFACTURING BASE IS HURT BY TARIFFS. “Now, in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s May 31 announcement that it would slap tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to strike back hard. Almost immediately, Canada released its own list of retaliatory tariffs, and not just on steel and aluminum. Also included were household products ranging from shaving cream to toilet paper to inflatable boats.” (Jessica Wehrman, “Trade War with Canada Could Punish Ohio,” Dayton Daily News, 7/11/18)

  • “The impact on Ohio is a reflection of what gets made here, and it’s not a small list. Consider this:
    • Yogurt? Dannon, in Minster, makes it.
    • Strawberry jam? Smuckers, pride of Orrville, manufactures it.
    • Shaving cream? The Barbasol brand is made in Ashland.
    • Parts for washers and dryers? Whirlpool, with locations in Ottowa, Greenville and Clyde.
    • Cars? Hondas are made in Marysville, and Chevy Cruzes in Lordstown.” (Jessica Wehrman, “Trade War with Canada Could Punish Ohio,” Dayton Daily News, 7/11/18)

1.5 MILLION OHIO JOBS DEPEND ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

‘Gut Punch’ to Auto Industry as Tariffs Kick Off ‘Downward Cycle’

Trade War Spurs Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Economic Damage Caused by Tariffs

QUOTE FROM FORMER SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN MAX BAUCUS: “Tariffs hurt every corner of the economy and the auto industry is a prime example of how much damage the trade war can inflict on workers, businesses and everyday Americans who will end up paying more for cars. The latest round of tariffs is a tax increase that could cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs and cause long-term damage, not just to the auto industry, but to manufacturing as a whole – and that’s just the beginning. Retailers, farmers, workers, and consumers will all pay a steep price unless the administration changes course soon.”

NEW TARIFFS WILL CAUSE A ‘DOWNWARD CYCLE’ AND HIGHER PRICES. “New tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on auto parts from China will hit carmaker profits, cut sales and threaten to ‘start a downward cycle’ in the critical industry, analysts unanimously agree. …’It’s going to be felt by Americans, and it’s going to be a big deal,’ said Peter Nagle, senior analyst at IHS Markit.” (Phoebe Wall Howard, “New China Tariff List Creates Risk of ‘Downward Cycle’ for US Auto Industry,” USA Today, 9/18/18)

  • ‘THIS IS THE “MOTHER MAKE IT STOP” POINT FOR THE AUTO INDUSTRY.’ “‘This is definitely the “Mother, make it stop” point for the auto industry,’ said Jon Gabrielsen, a market economist who advises automakers and auto suppliers. … ‘Vehicle sales already are in slow decline. This will probably will be quite a gut punch when they are forced to raise prices.’ Automakers can produce cars for about a month before the costs associated with the 10 percent tariff take effect. By February, ‘people will feel it,’ Gabrielsen said.” (Phoebe Wall Howard, “New China Tariff List Creates Risk of ‘Downward Cycle’ for US Auto Industry,” USA Today, 9/18/18)

STUDY SAYS NEW TARIFFS WILL COST 715,000 JOBS. “The impact of President Donald Trump’s escalating tit-for-tat over tariffs is already being felt, say auto industry experts. New car prices are beginning to rise, and auto exports are dropping. But a new report warns that sales could plunge by as much as 2 million vehicles a year, resulting in the loss of up to 715,000 American jobs and a hit of as much as $62 billion to the U.S. GDP.” (Paul A. Eisenstein, “Tariffs Could Mean a 2M Drop in Car Sales and Cost 715,000 Jobs, Warns Auto Industry Group,” CNBC, 9/21/18)

AUTO INDUSTRY WARNS TARIFFS COULD LEAD TO A RECESSION. “The auto industry fears that President Donald Trump’s threats to place tariffs on vehicles coming into the U.S. could drive the economy into a recession, the head of the largest auto retailer in America said today. ‘Everyone in the automobile industry — doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer, a supplier or a manufacturer — is freaking out around tariffs on automobiles,’ Mike Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer of AutoNation Inc., said Wednesday on Bloomberg Television. ‘The price point is so big, we all know it would be extremely disruptive, extremely expensive to the industry and most likely knock the economy into some sort of recession because it’s so inflationary.’” (Keith Naughton, “Auto Industry is ‘Freaking Out’ Over the Prospect of Tariffs on Cars,” Bloomberg, 9/19/18)

CONSUMERS WILL PAY MORE FOR AUTO PURCHASES. “As President Donald Trump’s new tariffs targeting $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to take effect next week, analysts warned that car prices would increase for U.S. consumers.” (Jason Lemon, “U.S. Car Prices Set to Increase Due to Trump’s China Tariffs, Experts Warn,” Newsweek, 9/19/18)

“IT’S HARD TO READ A SILVER LINING.” “‘It’s hard to read a silver lining into this,’ Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Industry, Labor & Economics Group at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan told the paper. ‘Tariffs are taxes on American consumers. We’re going to sell fewer… It’s all going to cost more. These are not things producers can choose to not pass along. This hits profits. This means less reinvestment. It starts a downward cycle that isn’t good.’” (Jason Lemon, “U.S. Car Prices Set to Increase Due to Trump’s China Tariffs, Experts Warn,” Newsweek, 9/19/18)

Today Marks Tax Increase for American Families, Farmers and Businesses

While Administration claims that Americans “will never notice” tax increases from tariff escalation, businesses expect price increases on everyday consumer goods

WASHINGTON – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland released the following statement today as tariffs on $200 billion in goods and $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports take effect.  This latest wave of tariffs is a tax on everyday items that American families buy including food, furniture, travel goods, home improvement supplies, personal care products and more. The retaliatory tariffs also being imposed today will harm made-in-America exports including goods produced by our farms and factories.

“Americans are waking up today to a tax increase on the things they rely on to provide for their families,” said Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Brian Kuehl. “From furniture to pet food, light bulbs to baby cribs, even groceries and toilet paper will be taxed by these tariffs. Contrary to the rhetoric, the taxes on these goods aren’t paid by foreign countries, they come out of the pockets of American businesses and consumers. While the $60 billion of retaliatory tariffs on American exports are paid for by U.S. farmers, manufacturers and small businesses.

“While the administration spent last week promising that consumers ‘will never notice’ these tax increases, American businesses will be forced to increase prices on everything from bikes to luggage. These taxes don’t just affect a few items or industries. They touch nearly every corner of the American economy. In the coming weeks and months, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland will continue to illustrate the impact of these tariffs at town hall meetings across the country with the American families who are paying the price for this trade war.”

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Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is a campaign that unites the nation’s largest trade organizations and industries to tell the stories of farmers, manufacturers, retailers, worker, and consumers who face higher prices, lower wages, lost jobs, and economic damage caused by the trade war.

Contact: [email protected]

Tariff Pain Spreads Across Tennessee As Trade War Continues to Escalate

QUOTE FROM BRANDON WHITT, RUTHERFORD COUNTY VICE PRESIDENT, TENNESSEE FARM BUREAU: “Tennessee farmers are worried whether we can turn a profit and stay in business – not just for the next year, but for the next generation. Trade has given us the opportunity to expand to new markets and sell our commodities overseas, but tariffs are closing those markets off quickly. If the trade war doesn’t end soon, we could lose those markets for good and do permanent damage to farming and agriculture in Tennessee and across the country.”

FACING INCOME SLUMP, FARMERS NOW LOSING MARKETS TO FOREIGN COMPETITORS. “As China and Europe have retaliated against steel and aluminum tariffs levied by President Donald Trump with their own tariffs on U.S. goods, farmers have taken a hit. Tennessee soybean farmers have seen purchases from China stall, exacerbating the financial pressure from a five-year slump in farm income. … Soybeans were Tennessee’s largest crop in 2016, with exports totaling $422 million. China represents 30 percent of the U.S. soybean market, according to Tennessee Farm Bureau officials. Wells said China will likely turn to Brazil for soybeans or reduce the country’s intake with tariffs on U.S. soybeans.” (Jamie McGee, “Tennessee’s Soybean Farmers Favor Free Market Over Trump’s Aid,” Nashville Tennessean, 7/24/18)

  • FARMERS WANT TRADE, NOT AID. “For some Tennessee farmers, the $12 billion in aid announced Tuesday by the Trump administration brings some financial relief — but not in the way they would prefer to make ends meet. ‘It will be some relief, but it’s a mixed bag,’ said Parks Wells, executive director of the Tennessee Soybean Promotion Council in Dyer County. ‘We hate to lose the free markets. Farmers thrive on that, not government support. We’ve lost this market because of the policy situation.’ (Jamie McGee, “Tennessee’s Soybean Farmers Favor Free Market Over Trump’s Aid,” Nashville Tennessean, 7/24/18)

TENNESSEE MANUFACTURERS SAY TARIFFS MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPETE WITH FOREIGN COMPANIES. “Executives from six area companies employing more than 1,000 Tennesseans described the significant price increases on steel, both domestic and imported, that they said are impairing their ability to compete against foreign companies. According to the Aug. 13 letter, steel prices are the highest they have been since 2008 and they have increased by 43 percent since this time last year. ‘These employees and our businesses depend on access to competitively priced steel to fabricate our products and compete in a global marketplace,’ the leaders wrote. ‘We cannot compete globally when the cost of our most important input has spiked and delivery times are extended.’” (Jamie McGee, “Tennessee Manufacturers Urge Trump to Rescind Steel Tariffs,” Nashville Tennessean, 8/20/18)

MSTU STUDY: TARIFFS HURT $1.4 BILLION IN TENNESSEE EXPORTS. “Up to $1.38 billion in Tennessee exports could be impacted by tariffs in a deepening trade war, according to a new report from a Middle Tennessee State University professor. Political science professor Steven Livingston recently wrote a report on how products listed as potential targets for tariffs by countries like Mexico, Canada, China and the European Union would impact Tennessee companies.” (Rachel Rippetoe, “MTSU Professor: Nearly $1.4B in Tennessee Exports Could Suffer from Tariffs,” Nashville Business Journal, 8/6/18)

TARIFFS HIT ABOUT ONE-FIFTH OF IMPORTS TO MEMPHIS ALONE. “Tariffs on Chinese products singled out by the White House would impact about 10 percent of the cargo reaching most U.S. ports on average, almost 18 percent of the freight reaching Memphis. … Memphis’ outsized share of imports reflects its extensive 55,000-employee logistics hub. Memphis contains the nation’s No. 1 cargo airport, freight depots for river barge lines and the nation’s five leading railroads, more than 100 truck terminals, and thousands of acres of distribution centers operated by major retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers bringing in imports ranging from machine tools to hammers and running shoes.” (Ted Evanoff, “Trump Tariffs in Tennessee Would Hit 18% of Memphis Imports,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/5/18)

  • TARIFFS ON TENNESSEE IMPORTS MEAN LAYOFFS IN MEMPHIS AND HIGHER PRICES NATIONWIDE. “If the proposed tariffs are put in place, the result could lead to higher prices nationwide on consumer items and possible layoffs in the Memphis logistics industry if import volumes fell, University of Memphis economist John Gnuschke said. ‘The truth of tariffs is somebody has to pay the price,’ Gnuschke said.” (Ted Evanoff, “Trump Tariffs in Tennessee Would Hit 18% of Memphis Imports,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/5/18)

TRADE WAR WILL INFLICT MAJOR DAMAGE ON AUTO MANUFACTURING. “The Trump administration’s new tariffs on aluminum and steel and the threat of more duties on imported cars and car parts will weaken the U.S. economy and inflict serious damage on the nation’s auto industry, a panel of trade analysts warned Wednesday. Americans will pay thousands of dollars more for new cars and trucks as a result of the tariffs, and as many as 700,000 workers in the auto industry could lose their jobs, the analysts told a Senate committee.” (Michael Collins, “Tariffs on Imported Cars, Parts Could Harm U.S. Economy and Auto Industry, Experts Warn,” USA Today, 9/5/18)

  • AUTO INDUSTRY EMPLOYS A THIRD OF TENNESSEE’S MANUFACTURING WORKERS. “In Tennessee, the number of auto jobs has nearly doubled, and exports and family incomes have increased under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated most tariffs between the United States, Mexico and Canada. A third of the state’s manufacturing workforce is now employed in the automobile industry.” (Michael Collins, “Tariffs on Imported Cars, Parts Could Harm U.S. Economy and Auto Industry, Experts Warn,” USA Today, 9/5/18)

Tennesseans Worry Whether they can “Turn a Profit and Stay in Business” Amid Growing Trade War

Nashville Roundtable Highlights the Impact of Tariffs on Local Farmers and Businesses

NASHVILLE, TENN.—Today a group of Tennessee farmers, business, and trade experts met at Tennessee Brew Works to discuss how tariffs are inflicting major damage on local businesses. According to a recent report, up to $1.38 billion in Tennessee exports could be impacted by tariffs and as many as 700,000 workers in the state’s auto industry could lose their jobs. The event is part of the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country.

“Tariffs are nothing more than a tax on American farmers, businesses and families. While we support the administration’s goal of holding China accountable for their actions, more must be done to ensure that consumer and ag products remain off the tariff list to prevent harm to the heartland,” said Jennifer Safavian, executive vice president of government affairs for RILA.

Soybeans were Tennessee’s largest crop in 2016, with exports totaling $422 million. China represents 30 percent of the U.S. soybean market, according to Tennessee Farm Bureau officials.

“Tennessee farmers are worried whether we can turn a profit and stay in business – not just for the next year, but for the next generation. Trade has given us the opportunity to expand to new markets and sell our commodities overseas, but tariffs are closing those markets off quickly,” said Brandon Whitt, Rutherford County Vice President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau. If the trade war doesn’t end soon, we could lose those markets for good and do permanent damage to farming and agriculture in Tennessee and across the country.”

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Harrisburg on Thursday, September 27, to hear from Ohioans on the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.

The campaign recently released an interactive searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.

 

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Tariffs Spread Pain Across Illinois Economy As Trade War Continues to Escalate

QUOTE FROM SEAN O’SCANNLAIN, PRESIDENT & CEO, FORTUNE FISH & GOURMET, CHICAGO, IL: “The trade war has created significant turmoil in the seafood industry, with tariffs causing price increases for the products we import and shutting off foreign markets for fishermen, lobstermen, and crabbers who make a living selling to international markets. Farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and retailers across the country are faced with rising costs that lead to layoffs, while consumers are paying higher prices for everyday goods. Fair trade policies are important, but tariffs are hurting businesses and workers at a time when our economy could be expanding and creating more jobs.”

ILLINOIS BUSINESSES TESTIFY TO CONGRESS: TARIFFS DRIVE UP PRICES.

  • Homewerks Worldwide, Lake Bluff, Illinois: “…when we had this in wave one, we passed the price increase through and they raised the retail price. So, what this means is it will impact, likely impact, the lower-income customers buying our opening price point and commodity faucets and valves, and then they are most likely not to do a project.’ – Peter Berkman
  • Power Stop, Bedford Park, Illinois: “My point today is straightforward. The imposition of 25 percent tariffs on imports of brake rotors and brake pads will serve no role in accomplishing the objectives of Section 301 investigation but rather will simply harm individual auto owners who could least afford an unexpected expense and thereby quite possibly lead to more accidents, layoffs, and make roads less safe.” – Arvin Scott
  • Display Supply & Lighting, Itasca, Illinois: “A 25 percent ad valorem duty wipes out our gross profit margin. It would put us out of business.” – Rob Cohen (Gina Hebb, “Dozens of Retailers Testified About How Trump’s Trade War with China Could Impact Them – Here’s What They Said,” Markets Insider, 9/13/18)

TARIFFS LED ILLINOIS MANUFACTURER TO SHUT DOWN TWO FACTORIES AND MOVE TO MEXICO. “A storage safe manufacturer is reportedly planning to shut down two Illinois factories and move to Mexico in response to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese metal imports. Stack-On Products will close its two Chicago-area plants in October and lay off 153 people, according to the Chicago Tribune.” (Avery Anapol, “Illinois Manufacturer Moving to Mexico Over Trump Tariffs,” The Hill, 8/15/18)

HOG FARMERS FACE OPERATING LOSSES THANKS TO TARIFFS. “Due to the increased supply of pork this year coupled with the tariffs placed on pork exports to Mexico and China, prices are expected to drop significantly. ‘They estimate that this will further decrease the price by about $9 per head,’ Doherty said. ‘So, we are already looking at some kind of a loss per head going into late 2018 and then into 2019. Basically, it’s making a bad situation worse.’” (“Excess Pork Supply, Tariffs Mean Losses for Illinois Pork Farmers,” WQAD8/6/18)

TRADE WAR THREATENS TO WIPE OUT ILLINOIS AGRICULTURE. “Brian Duncan, 53, a midsize corn, soybean and hog farmer with 4,000 acres in Polo, Illinois, already had been grappling with thinner profits. … If the tariffs remain, Duncan expects his sales over the next year to fall by $1.5 million in his hog business, about $400,000 in corn and $100,000 in soybeans. Duncan has 3,500 acres of corn and 500 acres of soybeans. And he raises 70,000 hogs a year that are sold to giant pork producers such as Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods. ‘The trade war has swung me from a half-million-dollar profit to a half-million-dollar loss,’ the 35-year, third-generation farmer says.” (Paul Davidson, “Boat Maker, Farmer, Auto Parts CEO Feel the Pain of a Growing Trade War Under Trump,” USA Today, 8/27/18)

ILLINOIS’ FINANCIAL HEALTH COULD BE AFFECTED BY TRADE POLICIES. “U.S. states worried about a negative impact on their finances from escalating trade disputes instigated by President Donald Trump are beginning to caution bond investors. Washington and Illinois, two of last year’s top five export states by dollar value, for the first time warned about potential trade-related consequences in documents for recent bond sales.” (Karen Pierog, “Trump Trade War Prompts State Warnings to Bond Investors,” Reuters, 8/27/18)

ILLINOIS FARMERS NEED ‘TRADE, NOT AID.’ “The U.S. Department of Agriculture will also buy up to $1.2 billion in commodities targeted by the retaliatory tariffs, and will spend $200 million on developing foreign markets for American produce. That’s not enough, say some farmers. ‘As soybean producers head into harvest, we need access to markets from trade deals and a stable Farm Bill, not short-term aid packages,’ said Doug Schroeder, vice chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association, in a statement. ‘More U.S. soy gets exported to China than all other American agricultural products combined. Market access and trade certainty support our families, our businesses and our communities. Short-term aid does not create long-term market stability. Producers need trade, not aid.’” (David Meyer, “‘Trade, Not Aid:’ Farmers Are Pushing Back Against Trump’s $4.7 Billion Trade War Bailout,” Fortune, 8/28/18)

TRADE WAR WILL CAUSE ‘IRREPARABLE DAMAGE’ TO FARMERS. “‘Trump’s trade war will cause irreparable damage to the farm sector,’ commented Jim Goodman, president of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC). … Of course, tariffs and retaliations are affecting all sectors, from metals and motorcycles to beer and beans, but farming is especially vulnerable. Indeed, China’s response to Trump’s $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods has already lowered prices for soybeans 15 to 25 percent. Illinois is China’s 3rd biggest trading partner, the state is a top U.S. soybean producer, and much of Illinois’ soybeans are exported – often to China, a viable market for decades.” (Bill Knight, “Illinois Farmers, Consumers Hurt By White House Trade War,” Canton Daily Ledger, 8/23/18)

Uncertain Futures, Industries in Turmoil: How the Trade War is Crushing Illinois Families

Speakers Participate in Chicago Roundtable to Highlight the Impact of Tariffs on Their Livelihood as Part of the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Campaign

CHICAGO – Today a coalition of business owners, farmers and consumers held a town hall to discuss how tariffs are affecting their bottom line. The event kicks off the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’s campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country.

The trade war has created significant turmoil in the seafood industry, with tariffs causing price increases for the products we import and shutting off foreign markets for fishermen, lobstermen and crabbers who make a living selling to international markets,” said Sean O’Scannlain, president and CEO of Fortune Fish & Gourmet. “Farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and retailers across the country are faced with rising costs that lead to layoffs, while consumers are paying higher prices for everyday goods. Fair trade policies are important, but tariffs are hurting businesses and workers at a time when our economy could be expanding and creating more jobs.”

Illinois is suffering across the board. Stack-On Products will close two of its Chicago-area plants next month and lay off 153 people because of the tariffs; their operations are reportedly moving to Mexico. Hog farmers in the state are seeing prices drop by roughly $9 per head, exacerbating an already challenging price situation. And row farmers are projecting hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost profits each. All sectors of the state’s economy—workers, consumers, farmers, small businesses owners—are suffering devastating losses. This can’t continue.

The significant drop in value of our crops has led to an uncertain and unsustainable financial future. We would like to transition our farm to the next generation but find it impossible to make plans and are unsure as to how to proceed,” said Michele Aavang, who farms corn, soybeans, wheat and raises cattle.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Nashville to hear from Tennesseans on the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.

The campaign recently released an interactive searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.

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Dangerous Tariff Escalation Hurts Economic Growth, American Families, Workers, Farmers and Businesses

 

Additional tariffs will be “paid for by the working families who drive our economy”

WASHINGTON – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign joining working families, farmers, manufacturers, retailers and small businesses across America, today made the following statement on the administration moving forward with import taxes on goods Americans buy every day.

“These tariffs are going to be paid for by the working families who drive our economy,” said Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Jonathan Gold. “Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. By choosing to unilaterally raise taxes on Americans, the cost of running a farm, factory or business will grow. In many cases, these costs will be passed on to American families. Tariffs have already resulted in layoffs, and this escalation will continue to squeeze American businesses with higher input costs and American farmers with decreasing commodity values.

“While we agree that there are issues that need to be addressed with trading partners, we also think that taxing American families and slowing economic growth is not the solution. That’s why we have launched Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide, grassroots campaign that unifies American industry in standing up for our economy, our workers and the opportunities every American family deserves. Together, we will ensure that Washington understands the real-life consequences of tariffs for communities across the country. Our goal is to get the administration to end the trade war and return to creating opportunity through trade for American businesses, farmers and workers.”

Learn more about Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and the diverse group of trade associations supporting the campaign HERE. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland will be hosting town hall meetings in Chicago (9/18), Nashville (9/20) and Columbus, OH the following week.

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