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News Archive

Month: November 2018

Farmers for Free Trade Statement on Signing of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

“USMCA is significant win for American farmers, but it’s a win that comes with a big caveat.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade, released the following statement on the signing of the United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar that amplifies the voices of American farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses that support free trade.

“Signing USMCA is a significant win for American farmers, but it’s a win that comes with a big caveat. While USMCA offers exciting opportunities for market access into America’s largest and closest ag export markets, any gains will continue to be offset by the losses farmers are experiencing from retaliatory tariffs as long as they are in place. 

“For example, through September of this year, the U.S. exports Canada and Mexico have targeted for retaliation have faced over $1.1 billion in new tariffs, which have caused a 21 percent drop in exports. Many of those products are American ag exports like beef, pork and apples. We hear from farmers and ranchers from Wisconsin, to Texas, to Washington state that these tariffs are blunting any momentum that USMCA might bring. 

“Farmers for Free Trade is excited about the prospect of turning our grassroots organization’s effort to supporting USMCA. We would like to spend next year leading the charge to ensure members of Congress get behind this agreement. We believe that it is in the best interest of farmers and rural communities. But like many throughout the ag community, we also believe that negotiating an end to the tariffs on Canada and Mexico is just as important for the bottom lines of farmers and their families. When it comes to a decision between the original NAFTA or USMCA along with tariffs on ag exports to Canada and Mexico, our farmers will choose the original NAFTA every time.

“Thirty years ago this week, in a radio address warning against the dangers of protectionism, President Ronald Reagan offered a warning that is as relevant today as USMCA is signed as it was then. As he headed to discussions that would further our trading relationship with Canada, he said ‘our peaceful trading partners are not our enemies; they are our allies…The expansion of the international economy is not a foreign invasion; it is an American triumph, one we worked hard to achieve, and something central to our vision of a peaceful and prosperous world of freedom.’”

Note: Data on export impacts and reduction from 232 retaliatory tariffs comes from a study released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and compiled by the Trade Partnership. For more information contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Georgia Faces 35% Increase in Tariff Costs, According to New Data Released at Atlanta Town Hall with Farmers and Business Owners

As President Trump prepares for major meeting on tariff negotiations at G20, American small businesses in Atlanta share their stories of being hurt by tariffs

ATLANTA, GA – A group of representatives from Georgia’s agriculture and small business communities joined Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, at a town hall today to debut new economic data detailing the impact of tariffs on the state’s economy.

The data, compiled by the Trade Partnership, shows that tariffs cost Georgia businesses almost $205 million in September. That represents a 35 percent increase in tariff-related costs since the same point last year—even though the value of imports increased by just six percent over that period.

“These tariffs are hitting Georgians where it hurts the most. Retaliatory tariffs on Georgia exports have skyrocketed since August and are putting pressure on multiple industries from peanuts to seafood. Retailers are also beginning to feel the pain and fear what the new year might bring when tariffs increase to 25 percent,” added Angela Hofmann, co-founder of Farmers for Free Trade.

The Trade Partnership data also shows that Georgia exports were subject to more than $46 million in retaliatory tariffs, thanks to ongoing trade disputes. These costs weigh heavily on the shoulders of farmers, retailers, small business owners, employers and workers who support Georgia’s economy – those the administration promised to safeguard with its trade policies.

The town hall featured panelists representing integral branches of Georgia’s economy, including agriculture, retail, and small business, as well as trade experts.

“The harm from tariffs goes beyond just the direct effect of higher costs for imports. We’ve heard from a number of startups and small businesses that tariffs are having a negative impact on the broader business environment as they seek new customers and partnerships globally,” said Executive Director of the National Foreign Trade Council’s Global Innovation Forum, Jake Colvin. 

“The retail industry is vital to the success of Georgia’s economy and communities. We are concerned about the impact that tariffs are having on the price and availability of the millions of products that consumers need. These tariffs have led to higher prices resulting in decreased buying power and will likely lead to a loss of jobs for Georgia families,” said Director of Government Affairs for Georgia Retailers, Thomas D. Beusse.

“The restaurant industry in Georgia is an industry of opportunity. For many people in the restaurant business, it means a first job. But if the food that restaurants serve is coming in at a higher rate, it’s going to affect restaurants and their ability to keep people employed,” said CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, Karen Bremer. 

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends eating seafood two to three times per week. Tariffs could make seafood become unaffordable for the American consumer,” said President & CEO of King & Prince Seafood, Michael Alexander.

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 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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New Tariffs on Christmas Lights Arrive Just in Time for the Holiday Season

As President Trump prepares to light the National Christmas Tree, businesses face higher tariffs on a holiday staple 

10 percent tariff on the majority of Christmas lights sold in stores represents another tax on American businesses and consumers; Christmas light tariffs will rise to 25 percent on January 1st 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The majority of Christmas lights sold across the United States are being hit with a new tariff by the Trump Administration, stemming from the Section 301 tariff dispute. The import tariff is being paid by American businesses who import the product.

Because there are no major American Christmas light manufacturers, nearly all Christmas tree lights are imported. According to U.S. Census data, over 80% of US imports of Christmas lights from the world in 2017 came between August and October as companies stock up for the holiday season, with China accounting for about 85% of those imports. Already subject to 8% Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs, the Section 301 dispute added another 10% tariff, to 18% overall. These took effect on September 24 – right in the middle of peak season for increasing holiday inventory. Lights could become even more expensive next Christmas, as the Section 301 tariff will increase to 25% (or an overall rate of 33%) on January 1st 2019.

“This is another instance when these tariffs are nothing more than a tax on businesses and working families,” said Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman, Dr. Charles Boustany. “Raising costs for businesses and consumers during the holidays doesn’t do anything but punish Americans who, polls show, want nothing to do with this trade war. The President should use his upcoming meeting with President Xi to negotiate a deal that ends these tariffs, avoids another round of tariffs on additional consumer products, and avoids the upcoming New Year’s Day tariff hike. Millions of Americans are counting on him to make that deal.”

The Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign continues to track the impact of tariffs on individual products, states, and industries. Recent data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and compiled by The Trade Partnership from monthly U.S. government data, shows the dramatic cost increases and export declines the trade war has created for American businesses, farmers, and consumers. The September 2018 data, the most recent month available, shows that American businesses paid $4.4 billion in import tariffs, including a $1.4 billion increase in tariffs on products that have been targeted by Administration tariff actions. The $4.4 billion in tariffs paid in both August and September are unprecedented in U.S. history. Imported products subject to new tariffs by the Trump Administration accounted for nearly all of the increase. The export tariff data released today shows that retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports. In September, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year. For more visit: http://tariffshurt.com/tariff-tracker-new-data-shows-american-businesses-paying-unprecedented-tariffs-exports-subject-to-retaliation-declining-rapidly/

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is the nationwide, non-partisan campaign opposing tariffs that is supported by over 140 trade association from every industry. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has been holding town hall meetings on the tariff impact in communities across the country. The campaign is also airing ads across 11 states in the Midwest that describe the impact of tariff increases on consumers and has launched an interactive map tracking the tariff impact on American employers.

 

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New Data Shows Washington State Businesses Have Paid $100 Million in Additional Tariffs; State Farmers and Exporters Have Also Faced Over $100 Million in Retaliatory Tariffs

SEATTLE, WA – Representatives from Washington’s agriculture, small business and global trade sectors joined Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, at a town hall today to unveil new economic data detailing the impact of tariffs on the state’s economy. The data, compiled by the Trade Partnership, shows that tariffs cost Washington businesses an added $100 million since new tariffs were imposed this yearThe data also shows that Washington exports have been subject to another $103 million in retaliatory tariffs thanks to ongoing trade disputes. These costs fall squarely on the backs of farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, major employers and workers.

See the infographic below for other key data points released today. To learn more or to view the full data set contact the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign at the emails listed below.

The town hall meeting featured panelists representing numerous critical sectors of Washington’s economy, including agriculture and produce, small business, retail, exports and the Port of Seattle.

“The loss our farmers will experience from these trade wars will have long-term implications,” said Seven Seas Export CEO, Sam Cho. “Trade is not a switch you can turn on and off. Once you lose business, it is extremely difficult to get it back. Even in the best case scenario where this Administration negotiates favorable trade terms, the damage is already done. Buyers of American goods will have already diverted and source from other countries.” 

“The timing of tariffs do not allow adequate time to adjust for increased costs. Consumers in our industry will find price increases difficult to absorb,” said Adrian Taylor, Owner of Ben Franklin Crafts in Bonney Lake, WA.

“The Port of Seattle’s airport and seaport gateway are not only used by local businesses and consumers, but are also truly national assets that benefit stakeholders throughout the country,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “For example, more than 60% of the goods imported through the Northwest Seaport Alliance – our marine cargo partnership with the Port of Tacoma – are destined for parts of the country outside the Pacific Northwest, and while businesses from almost every single state in the country use our facilities to access foreign markets. While there are justifiable concerns about the trade practices of countries like China, we continue to believe that productive engagement and negotiations are the best path to ensuring a fair and level playing field for mutually beneficial trade. Instead, we are dealing with the impact of these increased tariffs, which now impact 25% of our overall two-way trade flows and are threatening as many as 7,500 Port-related jobs.”

“Forty percent of all jobs in Washington State are trade-related,” said Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade. “The trade war inflicts disproportionate harm on Washington’s workers, businesses, and communities. The current tariff-first approach to trade policy has done little more than invite retribution and hinder needed cooperation. This is not the way to do business for Washington state.”

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 150 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. 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 Taking a Toll on Markets with ‘Rough 2019’ in Store

WASHINGTON – The trade war is creating pain for America’s economy. Exports are declining, jobs are disappearing, and prices are rising for everyday items. Now, the markets are starting to react, and it’s becoming clear that tariffs are starting to take a toll on the underpinnings of the economy. As tariffs continue to hurt American businesses, workers, and families, the message from the markets is clear: the trade war needs to end before things get even worse.

MARKETWATCH: ‘Stock market turns negative amid report that U.S. set to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports.’ “U.S. stocks lost altitude and turned negative Monday afternoon, amid a report from Bloomberg indicating that the U.S. was ready to impose a full-slate of tariffs on China’s imports, intensifying a protracted clash between the world’s largest economies.” (MarketWatch, 10/29/18)

PANTHEON MACROECONOMICS ECONOMIST: Trade war is ‘quickest possible route to a recession’ with ‘stock markets likely to tank as tariffs hit.’ “Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, estimated the tariffs would constitute a tax hike of about 0.7 percent of GDP, ‘to say nothing of the cost of the disruption to supply chains.’ … ‘With stocks likely to tank as the tariffs hit, even without higher rates, it seems to us that broad, high tariffs on imports are the quickest possible route to a recession next year.’” (Washington Post, 10/30/18)

CRAMER: ‘Higher tariffs and higher interest rates are setting stocks up for a rough 2019’. “President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China and the Federal Reserve’s plans to hike interest rates in lockstep are both ‘toxic’ for the stock market, and combined, they are souring the prospects for 2019, CNBC’s Jim Cramer warned Monday. ‘Higher rates and higher [tariffs] are setting us up for a very difficult end of the year — not to mention 2019 — unless something’s done to ameliorate these two different houses of pain,’ the ‘Mad Money’ host said. (CNBC, 10/29/18)

  • ‘Mini version of 2008’ could be looming. “The only thing that can stop the market’s recent plunge is the Federal Reserve changing course on interest rates or President Donald Trump ending his tariffs, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer. ‘My main fear is that we could have a mini version of 2008 if the Fed doesn’t change course,’ the ‘Mad Money’ host said Monday night.” (CNBC, 10/30/18)

TIAA WORLD MARKETS PRESIDENT: Trade developments pose ‘big risk’ for markets. “Investors have feared for most of the year that a protracted trade spat will lead to slower economic growth and diminishing profits for companies. ‘The big risk is still with trade and China,’ said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, noting the market has not fully priced in the possibility of a protracted trade war with China.” (CNBC, 10/31/18)

CNBC: Rough October sends investors to safer assets amid trade fears. “Investors pulled away from the stocks that have delivered the best returns in recent years, as concerns about President Trump’s trade war and rising interest rates sent fund managers into assets that are perceived as safer should the economy turn.” (CNBC, 10/31/18)

AXIOS: Forecasts are all over the map — but recession is a common theme. Mark Yusko, founder of hedge fund Morgan Creek Capital, forecasts recession next year, and puts the odds at 100% — thanks to trade tensions. “The trade rhetoric is one of the dumbest things in the history of all administrations and it will cause a global recession,” Yusko told a recent investment conference. (Axios AM, 11/2/18)

 

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TARIFF TRACKER: New Data Shows American Businesses Paying Unprecedented Tariffs; Exports Subject to Retaliation Declining Rapidly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

CONTACT: [email protected] or [email protected]

On imports alone, monthly Census data on calculated duties shows a $1.4 billion spike from Trump Administration tariffs actions; U.S. businesses paid $4.4 billion in tariffs in September

Separate export data shows that once growing U.S. exports are declining because of tariffs; products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent in September compared to the previous year

(Washington D.C.) – New data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and compiled by The Trade Partnership from monthly U.S. government data, shows the dramatic cost increases and export declines the trade war has created for American businesses, farmers, and consumers. The September 2018 data, the most recent month available, shows that American businesses paid $4.4 billion in import tariffs, including a $1.4 billion increase in tariffs on products that have been targeted by Administration tariff actions. The $4.4 billion in tariffs paid in both August and September are unprecedented in U.S. history. Imported products subject to new tariffs by the Trump Administration accounted for nearly all of the increase. The export tariff data released today shows that retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports. In September, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year.

The data released today does not fully account for the impact of 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion in import tariffs and further retaliation from that action because those tariffs did not go into effect until September 24th. Those tariffs rise to 25% on January 1st, 2019.

“This historic rise in costs for American businesses, farmers and consumers is only the beginning,” said former Congressman Charles Boustany, a spokesman for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. “Tariffs are taxes on Americans and every month this trade war continues these taxes will continue to grow. This data doesn’t yet include the bulk of tariffs the Administration has imposed on $200 billion in products that Americans buy every day; tariffs that are set to rise to 25% at the end of this year.

“In the coming months these tariffs will reach directly into the pockets of U.S. consumers and will continue to impact the bottom line of U.S. businesses and farmers,” Boustany added. “Instead of doubling-down on tariffs that this data shows are clearly hurting Americans, it is time for meaningful negotiations to take place. We urge the Administration to pursue negotiations with our trading partners that will de-escalate the trade war and spare Americans further economic pain.”

The Tariff Tracker: The data released today is part of a monthly Tariff Tracker that Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has launched in conjunction with The Trade Partnership, who compiles monthly data released by the U.S. government. The monthly import data is calculated using date from the Census Bureau. The monthly export data is compiled using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As part of the Tariff Tracker project, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is releasing data on how individual states have been impacted by increased import tariffs and declining exports.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is the nationwide, non-partisan campaign opposing tariffs that is supported by over 150 trade association from every industry. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has been holding town hall meetings on the tariff impact in communities across the country and has upcoming town halls in Washington state, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia. The campaign is also airing ads across 11 states in the Midwest that describe the impact of tariff increases on consumers and has launched an interactive map tracking the tariff impact on American employers.

More details on September 2018 Tariff Tracker data:

Imports:

Overall: Tariffs cost American companies $4.4 billion in September. Tariffs paid increased $1.5 billion (54 percent) compared to September 2017, despite an increase of just 10 percent in the value of imports.

Trump Tariffs: Trump Administration tariffs cost American companies an extra $1.4 billion in September. Products subject to the Trump Administration actions currently in place faced $1.8 billion in tariffs in September, compared to just $393 million in September 2017. The large increase in tariffs came despite an 11 percent decline in the value of imports.

For specific data on steel and aluminum or Section 301 tariffs actions contact [email protected]

Exports

Overall: US export growth was rising steadily, but started falling when countries started applying retaliatory tariffs on US exports.

Change in US Exports Since Prior Year                Estimated Retaliatory Tariffs on US Exports

              

Retaliatory Tariffs: Retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports. In September, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year. Export growth for products not subject to retaliatory tariffs have been consistent, so export declines on products subject to retaliation likely are not the result of unrelated trends.

Change in US Exports Since Prior Year                   Estimated Retaliatory Tariffs on US Exports

                  

President’s Visit to Tennessee on Sunday Highlights Sting Caused By Latest Wave of Tariffs

Across Tennessee, Businesses, Workers and Families Facing New Taxes Thanks to Recent Trade War Escalation

QUOTE FROM TARIFFS HURT THE HEARTLAND SPOKESMAN BRIAN KUEHL: “The longer this trade war goes on, the worse it will get for Tennessee. Tariffs have already caused long-term damage to farmers who rely on exports to make a living. Their overseas markets are disappearing – possibly for good. Now we are seeing the negative effects throughout Tennessee’s economy. It’s clear that the trade war needs to come to an end before the pain gets any worse.”

HEADLINE: ‘TARIFFS ARE HURTING TENNESSEE.’ “Mexico, Canada and the European Union all imposed tariffs on U.S. whiskey exports in retaliation for President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. And China imposed 25 percent tariffs on U.S. whiskeys in response to the growing trade war between the two nations. … Tennessee farms that export to China and businesses that rely on steel and aluminum imports are being squeezed. Leah Askarinam, with the Washington newsletter Inside Elections, has looked into the impact of tariffs on voters and said a lot of farmers and small businesses in rural red states are concerned.” (Jason Margolis, “Tariffs Are Hurting Tennessee, But Is It Enough To Turn Deep-Red Tennessee Blue?” Public Radio International, 10/28/18)

TENNESSEE HIT HARDER THAN ANY OTHER STATE BY TRADE WAR WITH CHINA

(SOURCE)

MTSU STUDY: AUTO EXPORTS DECLINE AS TRADE WAR HITS TENNESSEE. “Tennessee’s exporters had a somewhat ho-hum second quarter, according to the latest ‘Global Commerce’ report from MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center. … [BERC Associate Director Steven] Livingston noted that ‘significant declines’ in Tennessee’s shipments to Canada of automobiles and of computers were the major reason for this relatively modest performance.” (Jimmy Hart, “Has the Trade War Hit Tennessee’s Shores?” MTSU Business and Economic Research Center, 10/3/18)

‘THIS COULD BE CATASTROPHIC.’  “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 … ‘The American consumer just isn’t willing to pay that much more.’ (Abha Bhattarai, “‘This Could Be Catastrophic’: Small Businesses Say New Tariffs Will Make It Even Harder to Compete,” Washington Post, 9/20/18)

TARIFFS MEAN HIGHER PRICES FOR GROCERIES, CLOTHES, FURNITURE, AND A LOT MORE. “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.” (Brad Tuttle, “All The Major Retailers That Say They’ll Have to Raise Prices Because of New Tariffs on China,” Time, 9/26/18)

PRICES WILL SPIKE AS HOLIDAY SHOPPING BEGINS. “Many American companies have already announced that tariffs could force them to raise prices, including Walmart, Gap, Coca-Cola, and General Motors. Macy’s also expects to be affected, and some Apple products are expected to get more expensive as well, although not its new smartwatch or wireless headphones. … ‘There’s no way around it: Tariffs are taxes on American consumers,’ says David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation. He adds that some prices might increase as soon as the holiday shopping season.” (Yoni Blumberg, “Trump’s $250 Billion in China Tariffs Are Now in Effect – Here’s What Could Get More Expensive,” CNBC, 9/25/18)

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)

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)

West Virginia Miners ‘Walking A Tightrope’ Amid Trade Wars

QUOTE FROM TARIFFS HURT THE HEARTLAND SPOKESMAN BRIAN KUEHL: “Tariffs have a sweeping impact that hurts businesses, farmers, manufacturers, miners, workers and families across West Virginia. As the trade war continues, the costs will only grow. Tariffs cost jobs, raise prices for everyday items, and make it harder for manufacturers and other businesses to keep their doors open. We need to end tariffs before the damage gets worse.”

ALUMINUM TARIFFS WILL HURT WEST VIRGINIA’S VITAL AEROSPACE INDUSTRY. “Aerospace companies in West Virginia have an economic impact of over $1 billion per year in the counties of North Central West Virginia alone. They employ thousands of West Virginians in jobs with benefits that pay an average salary of over $72,000 per year. … The global aerospace industry, with its increasing demand for manufactured products, educated and highly-paid workers, and technological progress allowing ever-more-isolated areas of the globe’s population to be connected to the mainstream, is everything we say we want when it comes to West Virginia’s future. Policymakers cannot allow a trade war to derail West Virginia’s future. … [T]he implementation of these tariffs carry with them the threat of real harm to a bright spot in West Virginia’s economy, and a true hope for our state’s future.” (Thomas O’Neill, “Trade War Could Blow Back on WV Bright Spot,” Daily Mail WV, 10/18/18)

TRUMP’S TARIFFS ARE ‘COMING AT A BAD TIME FOR WEST VIRGINIA’S COAL INDUSTRY’. “In response, China proposed tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. products, with coal and natural gas high on the list. Coal exports to China totaled 3.2 million tons in 2017, up from zero in 2015 and 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). ‘We’re obviously watching it closely, particularly given what a bright spot exports have been for our industry of late,’ Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, which represents U.S. mining companies, told Reuters. ‘Anything that would chip away at the appetite for U.S. coal abroad would be of concern.’” (Mark Hand, “Trump’s Trade Wars Harming One of West Virginia Coal Industry’s Few Bright Spots,” Think Progress, 8/17/18)

WEST VIRGINIA’S $84 BILLION TRADE DEAL WITH CHINA ENERGY INVESTMENT CORP. IN JEOPARDY DURING TRUMP’S TRADE WAR. “[T] he China Energy Investment Corp. signed a non-binding $84 billion 20-year deal with the state to help it develop its petrochemical sector that wants access to abundant and cheap shale gas. It is especially needed in a place that has seen its coal industry lose ground to more competitive and cleaner electric generation fuels. ‘We, of course, do not want a trade war,’ Steve Roberts, chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce told this writer in an interview. … To put this potential deal in context, West Virginia’s gross economic output is about $75 billion a year. IHS Markit projects a $9 billion infusion into the state by 2035, which will employ 57,000 people in gas-related fields, or 7% of the West Virginia’s workforce. Average pay: $90,000 a year, similar to that of the coal sector. Meantime, the state’s current coal industry workforce is 20,000.” (Ken Silverstein, “Trump’s Trade War With China Could Leave West Virginia’s Energy Sector Seriously Wounded,” Forbes, 4/10/18)

TARIFFS THREATEN WEST VIRGINIAN JOBS. “Tariffs ‘would undermine P&G manufacturing, U.S. jobs, and P&G’s business competitiveness,’ Selina Jackson, the company’s vice president for government relations, wrote to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on September 6. She warned the decision would drive up prices, reduce P&G’s profitability and damage its market share. P&G is also building a $500 million plant in West Virginia. The plant, which will support 1,800 jobs, ‘represents the manufacturing site of the future’ for the company.” (Nathaniel Meyersohn, “The Trade War Reaches Procter & Gamble – And Into The Medicine Cabinet,” CNN, 9/21/18)

WEST VIRGINIA COAL INDUSTRY TAKES HIT AMID TRADE WARS. “The biggest markets for American coal, however, are those that have been targeted by Trump’s tariffs on U.S. steel imports: Brazil, Japan, Ukraine, Canada, India, South Korea and China. The danger for America’s coal producers is that these countries will slash their U.S. orders in retaliation for the tariffs. Any reduction in demand could have serious consequences for the scale of production: China, Japan, India, and Turkey together bought almost 14 million tons of metallurgical coal from America in 2017, a quarter of its overseas total.” (Paul Brian, “Trump’s Trade War Is Digging The Coal Industry Into A Hole,” The Federalist, 7/10/18)

$574 MILLION WEST VIRGINIA EXPORTS ARE THREATENED BY AN EMERGING TRADE WAR. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

 

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Missouri Continues to Feel Tariff Fallout Ahead of Trump Rally

QUOTE FROM ALAN WEBER, FARMER AND AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST, MARSHALL, MO: “Tariffs have already done significant damage to Missouri’s agriculture industry – and that’s just part of the story. Across the state, farmers, manufacturers, small businesses, workers, and families are facing increased costs, fewer jobs, and higher prices because of tariffs. Unfortunately, unless the trade war ends, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.”

TARIFF EFFECT ON MISSOURI IS ‘NOT SUSTAINABLE.’ “’Definitely the tariffs are the biggest negative thing we’ve seen,’ said Adam Jones, a farmer from Old Monroe in Lincoln County. ‘It feels odd to see these prices drop and not have any way to help yourself.’ ‘The main cash crop I grow is soybeans, which has taken the largest hit,’ adds Russell, the farmer from Richmond, Mo. He said his farm is ‘producing our corn and soybeans at negative returns,’ including about a $2 per bushel loss on soybeans. ‘That’s something that’s not sustainable,’ he said.” (Bryce Gray & Andrew Nguyen, “Tariffs and drought weigh heavily on farmers,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/19/18)

STEEL TARIFFS HIT MISSOURI MANUFACTURERS. “Doug Olds is the vice president of Washington Metal Fabricators in Washington, Missouri. The company buys raw metal from U.S. producers and turns it into finished products for various clients. He told Newsy, ‘For years, we’ve been able to ride the bubble out. Steel market fluctuated minorly, and we just never raised our prices or lowered our prices. … This was such a big hit, we did have to raise prices.’” (Matt Picht & Cliff Judy, “Trump’s Trade War Is Leaving Missourians Bruised, But Not Broken,” Newsy, 10/11/18)

TARIFFS DRIVE SOYBEAN PRICES DOWN. “Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, said that while it is difficult to attribute economic trends to any one factor, the tariffs certainly deserve blame for these dropping soybean prices, and that has been reflected in farmers’ bottom lines. ‘Yes, it has affected U.S. prices. Certainly, the lower prices have reduced income levels for every producer,’ Westhoff said, adding that a Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute report from August projected the market year average price at $8.73 per soybean bushel, the lowest since 2006. ‘Prices are down roughly 20 percent over the last six months,’ said Christine Tew, director of communications for the Missouri Soybean Association.” (Andrew Withers, “FACT CHECK: How bad off will soybean farmers be this year?” The Columbia Missourian, 10/27/18)

  • “A bumper crop has weighed on soybean prices this year, and trade tariffs already have added pressure on prices of other crops… Soybean futures are down 16 percent since April.” (Lori Ann LaRocco, “Soybean and Pea Farmers Scramble as China and European Trade Missions Cancel Visits,” CNBC, 8/20/18)
  • “Soybeans are the state’s most valuable cash crop, and the export market is hugely important for farmers.” (David Nicklaus, “The Case of the Missing Soybeans, or Why Tariffs’ Missouri Effect Is Being Underestimated,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, 7/3/18)

MISSOURI MANUFACTURER FACING CLOSURE OVER TARIFFS. “Mid Continent Nail employed about 500 workers in Poplar Bluff — population 17,070 — before Trump’s tariffs on Mexican steel took effect in June. Since then, nearly 200 employees have been laid off or left voluntarily. Mid Continent’s facilities could shutter ‘by the end of the month,’ said the company’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Heaton.” (Allison Kite, “Missouri company facing closure over tariffs is at center of McCaskill, Hawley battle,” The Kansas City Star, 10/14/18)

  • “Trump’s tariff war against America’s trading partners has driven up the cost of imported steel from Mexico by 25 percent. Mid Continent Nail Corp. of Poplar Bluff, Mo., is owned by Mexican company Deacero, which provides its steel. With the tariffs pushing up the price of its nails, the company has lost market share, requiring it to lay off about 100 of its 500-employee workforce; the rest might follow.” (Editorial: “Hawley Chooses the Wrong Side in Trump’s Trade War,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/23/18)
  • ‘MISSOURI NAIL COMPANY CITES TARIFFS FOR ADDITIONAL LAYOFFS.’ “Mid Continent Nail Corporation in southeast Missouri’s Poplar Bluff has laid off about 160 workers since President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports began on June 1. The company now employs fewer than 340 workers, down from about 500 before the tariffs took effect. Temporary workers have been let go and some permanent workers have left for other jobs and have not been replaced.” (Alisa Nelson, “Missouri Nail Comapny Cites Tariffs for Additional Layoffs,” Missourinet, 8/18/18)
  • “Missouri’s Mid-Continent Nail Corporation spokesman James Glassman says ‘jobs are in severe jeopardy’ due to steel tariffs. If the company is not granted an exclusion, he said the company could move to Mexico or go out of business.” (“US Nail Company on ‘Brink of Extinction Because of Tariffs,” CNN, 6/26/18)

‘MISSOURI FARMERS SAY TRADE WAR THREATENING THEIR BUSINESS AND LEGACY.’ “Some Missouri farmers say they are losing money and are concerned they could lose their farms due to the Trade War with China. ‘I’ve been a farmer since 1951 and it looks like that maybe this might be that first year that we’re going in the red,’ said Dale Edmondson, an 87-year-old farmer in Polk County.  He says he has 7,000 bushels of soybeans from last year that haven’t yet been sold. ‘We’re at the mercy of the market,’ he said. ‘I have survived droughts. I have survived high interests. And I’ve survived a lot of things, but I don’t know whether we can survive this trade war or not.’” (Jennifer Abreu, “Missouri Farmers Say Trade War Threatening Their Business and Legacy,” OzarksFirst.com, 8/8/18)

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,” WQAD, 8/6/18)

TRADE WAR THREATENS $880 MILLION IN MISSOURI EXPORTS. “The Missouri Chamber of Commerce estimates the state could lose  $880 million because of this trade war.” (Jennifer Abreu, “Missouri Farmers Say Trade War Threatening Their Business and Legacy,” OzarksFirst.com, 8/8/18)

TRADE SUPPORTS MORE THAN 826,000 MISSOURI JOBS. (US Chamber of Commerce)

AMERICAN FARMERS ‘THE PRIMARY LOSERS’ AS FOREIGN COMPETITORS EAT UP OVERSEAS MARKETS. “Of the $20 billion in U.S. agricultural goods that went to China last year, more than half was in soybeans. China’s move sent U.S. soybean prices plunging nearly 20 percent, to the detriment of Midwestern farmers. But not everybody’s suffering. In a recent research note, economists from market-research firm TS Lombard observed that ‘global trading firms will easily skirt China’s soybean tariffs and leave U.S. growers the primary losers’ and that ‘the big winners will be Brazilian farmers and the big grain companies.’” (Editorial, “Meet the Winners of the Trade War,” Weekly Standard, 8/7/18)

Former Republican Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany to Join Tariffs Hurt the Heartland as Spokesman

Louisiana Congressman will help tell the stories of business owners, farmers and families hurt by the trade war as part of the growing nationwide, non-partisan campaign against tariffs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact: [email protected]

(Washington, D.C.) – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the nationwide, non-partisan campaign against tariffs, today announced that former Republican Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany will join the campaign as a spokesman. Congressman Boustany is a trade expert with over a decade of experience working across party lines on trade policies in Congress, including on the House Ways and Means Committee. Dr. Boustany adds a powerful voice to the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign that is holding town hall meetings on the tariff impact in communities across the country and airing ads across 11 states in the Midwest that describe the impact of tariff increases on consumers. The campaign has also launched an interactive map tracking the tariff impact on American employers.

“Every day that these tariffs remain in place the pain grows for American businesses, farmers and families,” Dr. Boustany said. “That’s why I’m looking forward to joining the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, which is telling the stories of the Americans who are paying these taxes through higher prices, deferred investments and lost opportunity. I believe that if we amplify the voices of these Americans we can reach policymakers on the Hill and in the White House.”

Congressman Boustany served Louisiana for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served Louisiana’s 7th district from 2005-2013 and the 3rd district from 2013-2017. During his time in Congress, Dr. Boustany served on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade policy. As a member of the committee, Dr. Boustany established himself as a leader on trade policy. Boustany was a co-founder of the Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus. Dr. Boustany also authored trade enforcement language that created the tools for more effective trade enforcement in an effort to stop abusive practices. In the private sector, Dr. Boustany served as the President and CEO of his own private practice of medicine in the field of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery.

“You learn quickly in Congress that real change begins outside of the beltway, with the people whose lives are being impacted,” Dr. Boustany said. “That’s why this campaign is engaging at the grassroots level with town-hall style events that feature real Americans. I’m going to work to echo their concerns back here in D.C. to ensure that their voices are being heard in the halls of power.

“America needs a clear strategy for how and when this trade war comes to an end,” Dr. Boustany added. “Instead of doubling-down on tariffs that have not worked, it is time for meaningful negotiations to take place. In the months ahead, we urge the administration to use forums like the G-20 to engage trading partners in discussions on how we can hold trading partners accountable without hurting American families.”

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