Given the recent dramatic developments in U.S. trade policy, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides an update on the key issues in play and how the Chamber is working to represent our members’ interests in a rapidly changing arena.
Cresting in the first week of July, a wave of steep retaliatory tariffs is poised to hit $75 billion of U.S. exports. These tariffs are being levied by other countries on U.S. merchandise exports in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed on nearly all countries and, in the case of China, tariffs the United States will levy on $34 billion of imports from China on July 6. U.S. agricultural products and many manufactured goods exports are the top targets for retaliation.
As you know, the Chamber argued strenuously against the initial U.S. tariffs. Imposing these tariffs on our closest allies and best customers threatens the U.S. economy, risks alienating many of our closest allies, and does not effectively address legitimate trade concerns such as those the business community has with regard to China’s industrial policies. Hitting allies with tariffs in the name of “national security” has been taken as an insult in many foreign capitals. And tariffs are, of course, a tax—one paid not by foreigners but by Americans.
We are working overtime to build awareness of the costs of these actions. Today, we are launching a new website—www.thewrongapproach.com—presenting state-specific data on the impact of these tariffs on American workers, farmers, and consumers. We’ve laboriously compared the retaliatory tariff lists of Canada, Mexico, the EU, and China with Commerce Department data on state exports, and this website will drive home the fact that the costs of a global trade war will be local.