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

November 29, 2018

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 ( 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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