China Tariff Getty 5fd2472265454

Equipment associations join call for trade policy review

Dec. 10, 2020
NATM, MEMA, EMA sign on to letter asking President-elect Biden to remove 'go it alone' trade policies that have cost US more than $68 billion

Several transportation equipment industry groups have joined with Americans for Free Trade and Farmers for Free Trade writing to President-elect Biden and his transition team to encourage the review and removal of current trade policies that are negatively impacting the American economy, particularly as it works to sustain a recovery from COVID-19.

Over 150 trade associations and companies signed the letter, highlighting for President-elect Biden how tariffs have cost American businesses, manufacturers, farmers, and consumers over $68 billion. Those include the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM); Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA); Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA); and Auto Care Association.

“We all agree that our trading partners must live up to their commitments. However, the current Section 301 China tariffs and Section 232 steel/aluminum tariffs have been a blunt instrument, imposing undue costs on U.S. employers and families,” the letter says. “Tariffs have increased costs for U.S. manufacturers, who rely on imported inputs and components for production at home, and for importers, whose businesses rely on finished consumer goods. U.S. farmers and agribusiness have been the subject of retaliatory actions and have thus seen sales and exports evaporate. And U.S. consumers and working families have borne increased costs for household items they rely on every day.”

The letter contends US trade policy must not be based on a “go it alone approach,” and encourages cooperation with allies to address the “systemic” issues with China.

The full text of the Dec. 7 letter is here.

Americans for Free Trade also sent two letters to Congressional leaders Dec. 9 in support of legislation that would help American businesses recover from the impact that tariffs are having in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The first letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, expressing both strong support for and quick passage of H.R. 7665, a bill that would extend product exclusions in effect as of July 16, 2020. The second letter was sent to Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) expressing strong support for S. 4497, a bill that would temporarily suspend all duties on PPE and other products identified by the U.S. International Trade Commission as needed for the COVID-19 response.

In the letter to House Leadership, Americans for Free Trade cited the need to lift financial burdens on American companies.  The letter to Sens. Toomey and Hassan outlined the crucial role that U.S. companies are playing in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

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