If News Reports are Right, President Trump Handed Importers a Gift

Tags Trade

Washington, D.C. – According to news reports, President Trump is set to issue an executive order to authorize the Treasury Department to direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to delay collecting MFN tariffs for three months, including on imported light trucks and non-discriminatory items such as apparel and footwear. The order will not apply to the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods or Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said:

"President Trump handed importers a gift today. Many of America's manufacturing workers have already seen pink slips, and others are putting their own health at risk working around the clock to make desperately needed medical supplies. If anything, this crisis should awaken us to the need to strengthen domestic manufacturing, not encourage the further outsourcing of production and jobs. But that's what this order could do.

While I'm relieved that the Section 232 and Section 301 trade enforcement actions will remain in place, other American industries could take a big hit. For example, imported SUVs and pickup trucks will enter the market without paying the usual 25% tariff, essentially giving those importers a huge loan. Meanwhile, American autoworkers are working around the clock making ventilators, respirators and other supplies for our medical professionals.

It's not just autos. America's remaining companies risking everything to make facemasks and hospital gowns also could see their businesses disadvantaged because the Trump administration decided to help their foreign competitors. Rather than bend over backward for importers, Trump should refocus his efforts on supporting America's factory workers, especially at a time when they are doing so much to help our country."