CPA Praises Reversal of Customs Decision on Tariff Delays

March 26, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue tariff collection

Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is praising a decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  to continue the collection of duties on imports. The agency had recently proposed deferring tariffs in a misguided effort to offer relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, domestic manufacturers, including many CPA members, urged Customs not to halt duties on unfairly traded imports. In a letter  to the agency, CPA made clear that calls for suspending the tariffs would only benefit an import lobby hoping to profit from the current crisis.

“President Trump and Congress have been working to provide economic relief for the American people,” said CPA Chair Dan DiMicco. “Lifting the duties imposed on dumped and unfairly subsidized imports would only cause further injury to already struggling U.S. companies. There’s simply no reason to provide relief for importers caught running afoul of trading rules. Customs has made a wise decision to reverse its earlier plan. The agency must keep collecting duties on imports from trade-cheating countries.”

CPA has long supported tariff measures against subsidized steel and aluminum, as well as products from China that benefit from intellectual property theft, espionage, and forced technology transfer. Many duties are in place because of trade enforcement cases finding that foreign goods were subsidized and dumped and specific US companies and workers were injured. CPA is particularly concerned that China is now stockpiling unsold goods during the current shutdown. These products could flood the U.S. market, once international commerce resumes. If sold at reduced prices, these imports would pose a further challenge for domestic U.S. producers—reinforcing the need to continue duties on unfairly traded goods.

“We’re very pleased to see Customs retract its ‘stop-collecting-duties’ proposal,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA. “This is a victory for domestic manufacturers. We won, and we’re grateful to the administration for heeding the message of millions of concerned workers throughout the nation.”

Stumo added, “Continuing tariff collections is particularly important at this time. The U.S. Treasury benefits from the collection of funds during a time of national emergency. CBP should continue to enforce current standards and see that Treasury is supported in this time of need.”

Read CPA’s recent letter to CBP in support of continued tariff collection.

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