Gemini Shippers Group ( Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA), Gemini Shippers Association (GSA) and the Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association (FJATA), as a member of the Americans for Free Trade Coalition joined in sending the following letter to the President today advocating for continues progress in sensible tariff reform.
February 27, 2019
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the Americans for Free Trade coalition, we are writing to commend your commitment to achieving a fair trade deal with China and for recent progress that has been made during negotiations. We are encouraged by your decision to avoid a tariff increase on March 2 and allow negotiations to continue ahead of a planned summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. We urge you to publish a Federal Register notice immediately confirming and detailing your decision in order to provide certainty to the business community, making clear to all stakeholders that tariffs do not automatically increase on March 2. Further, it is our hope that this momentum will build in the weeks ahead and lead to a final deal that addresses structural issues in China, removes tariffs on both sides, and eliminates trade uncertainty facing American businesses and farmers.
Our coalition represents every part of the U.S. economy, including manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. Collectively, we support tens of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains. We agree that China and other trading partners must be held accountable for trade violations. However, broadly applied tariffs do more harm than good and force American companies to foot the bill for China’s misbehavior.
According to data released by our coalition, American businesses paid an additional $2.7 billion in tariffs in November 2018 alone, the most recent month data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents a $2.7 billion tax increase and a massive year-over-year increase from $375 million in tariffs on the same products in November 2017. The data also shows that U.S. export growth hit its lowest level of 2018, thanks in part to a 37 percent decline in exports of products facing China’s retaliatory tariffs. This data highlights that tariffs as a negotiating tactic will always be a losing proposition because Americans — not foreign countries — are the ones paying the price.
Due to these costs, American employers are eager to see trade negotiations conclude as soon as possible and for all tariffs to be lifted. Although we are encouraged by the latest signs of progress, it is important to note that existing tariffs and shifting deadlines are hanging over American businesses and farmers and undermining their ability to grow, invest, and plan for the future.
Mr. President, we applaud the hard work of your administration to achieve better trade deals for the American people, and we are encouraged by the progress that has been made. As negotiations continue, we urge you to continue to listen to the concerns of American businesses faced with significant uncertainty. We are eager to see a trade deal with China that addresses structural issues such as intellectual property theft and technology transfer while removing existing tariffs and the threat of tariffs in the future. Millions of American farmers, businesses, workers, and families are counting on you to achieve a positive resolution that keeps America competitive on the global stage while growing our economy and protecting the millions of U.S. jobs supported by trade.
Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association (FJATA)
Photo credit: https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T052-S001-10-companies-hurt-president-trump-tariffs/index.html