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Press Release

At South Carolina Town Hall, Data Reveals Massive Tariff Costs for Palmetto State

January 31, 2019

South Carolina businesses have now paid an extra $126 million thanks to Trump tariffs 

Most recent monthly data shows South Carolina businesses have paid $58 million in tariffs on products subject to new Trump tariffs; more than 7 times what was paid on the same products the previous year

Tariffs have a direct impact on South Carolina: In October, South Carolina exports subject to retaliation dropped 

CONTACT: [email protected] or [email protected]  (Manning, SC) – Record-high tariffs have now cost South Carolina businesses $126 million, according to data discussed today at a trade town hall meeting in Manning. The data was originally released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland—a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs—and compiled by the Trade Partnership, and includes a look at the full weight of tariffs that have been imposed on $200 billion in Chinese imports and the resulting retaliatory actions against American exports.

South Carolina businesses have now paid an extra $126 million in additional tariffs, including $58 million in October of last year. During that month, South Carolina businesses paid more than seven times the tariffs they paid on the same products at the same time last year.

“The tariffs have created great stress as the rush is on to find suitable products that can be sourced outside of China in the quantity and quality needed,” said Arnold KamlerChairman and CEO of Kent International Inc. “The related price increases have hurt our business as well as our customers.”

“We are concerned about the impact of tariffs on U.S. suppliers, customers and manufacturers; tariffs are not positive for the US economy,” said Sarah Thorn, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs for Walmart. “By 2023, Walmart has pledged to purchase approximately $250 billion in products that support the creation of American jobs, but the tariffs could have a dampening effect on our efforts to re-shore American manufacturing.” The staggering South Carolina numbers correspond with national data showing American businesses paid $6.2 billion in tariffs in October, the highest amount for any month in U.S. history. 

See the South Carolina State Impact Report HERE for more information.

At a town hall meeting at the Bicycle Corporation of America in Manning, SC, members of the business community, retailers, farmers, and trade experts discussed how tariffs are impacting their consumers; their ability to invest in their businesses; their exports; and the impact on jobs and hiring.

“Families and businesses in South Carolina and across the country are facing unprecedented costs thanks to tariffs imposed by Washington and retaliation by our trading partners,” said Jon Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy for the National Retail Federation. “They’re counting on the administration to continue to negotiate and put an end to tit-for-tat tariffs before local communities suffer even more damage. “Imposing tariffs on imported goods will hit American consumers and businesses—including manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and technology companies—with higher costs on commonly used products and materials,” said Brince Manning, Manager, Southeast Region, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Simply put, tariffs are a tax on American consumers and businesses, and are the wrong approach to address unfair trade practices.”

Though tariffs are billed by the administration as a way to reduce the trade deficit, export numbers reveal that the opposite is happening. Since the trade war began, South Carolina exports have faced $187 million in new retaliatory tariffs, including $52 million in October. As a result, South Carolina exports have dropped, threatening the state’s 496,100 jobs that are supported by trade.

“The trade war is having a real-world impact on South Carolina businesses, farmers, and workers. South Carolina businesses and taxpayers have already paid millions in tariffs that continue to threaten jobs and the economy. We must end the trade war to keep America competitive in the global marketplace and to protect jobs supported by trade here at home,” said Former Louisiana Congressman and Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesperson Dr. Charles Boustany.

Part of a larger series, the data discussed today is the latest segment of the 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 data from the Census Bureau, and the monthly export data is compiled based on Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture data. 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 more than 150 trade associations from every industry. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has been holding town hall meetings on the tariff impact of tariffs 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.

For additional information and data from the Tariff Tracker contact [email protected] or [email protected].


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