Press Release: CPA Finds Tariffs Continuing to Help US Manufacturers

February 07, 2019

Tariffs are working, boosting job growth

Washington. One year after the Trump administration first imposed tariffs on a host of subsidized imports from China, the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) reports that the tariffs have been extremely successful. The United States added 261,000 manufacturing jobs in 2018, and CPA members are experiencing increased sales.

Dan DiMicco, chairman of the CPA, said, “President Trump imposed tariffs on China following a thorough investigation of hacking and technology theft. Beijing has long engaged in predatory economic behavior that unfairly penalizes US goods. The president’s tariffs are a common sense remedy that has proven to be the only effective means of addressing Beijing’s ongoing IP theft and dumping of product.”

At the beginning of 2018, President Trump imposed tariffs on subsidized imports of steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar panels. He subsequently implemented tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods in order to address longstanding concerns over intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. Those tariffs followed an exhaustive Section 301 trade investigation documenting numerous trade violations by China’s state-owned companies.

In August 2018, CPA conducted a six-month review of the tariffs and found that the US had already gained 11,000 jobs in industries covered by the tariff lines, including new steel and solar operations. Third-quarter economic data also showed inflation-adjusted GDP growth of 3.5 percent—far better than many economists had expected. And in November 2018, CPA released the findings of a study on the president’s steel tariffs that projected an increase of 2.1 million additional jobs throughout the US economy over the baseline forecast, including small but significant increases in real gross domestic product (GDP).

Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, said, “The data speaks for itself. Manufacturing employment is rising and our members are reporting increased sales. Many of them are intermediate-sized producers of aviation, defense, and automotive equipment—which gives us a representative picture of a broad section of American industry. Our members overwhelmingly report that the tariffs have given them breathing room against China’s continued cheating. We’re grateful to the Trump administration for acting to protect their industries, particularly when it comes to egregious IP theft and the outright dumping of product in the US market.”

CPA member companies have also commented on the importance of the tariffs.

Roddey Dowd, Jr., CEO, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co.: “Our company has been the victim of intellectual property theft. A company in China markets our products throughout Asia using our logo. Charlotte Pipe strongly supports the Trump administration’s tariff action to fight back.”

Bill Toler, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Global Brass and Copper Holdings, and Devin Denner, CEO, Chase Brass and Copper Co.: “As China takes over the manufacturing of finished products through technology theft, subsidies, and their China 2025 program, our companies' ability to increase wages and gain market share is endangered. We welcome this strong action by the president and hope for more action in the future.”

George Boyd, Jr., Vice President and General Counsel, Goldens’ Foundry & Machine Co.: “We service a diverse set of manufacturers, with products ranging from medical equipment to electrical generators. We are concerned by China’s theft of advanced technologies which is now impacting a wide array of US industries. My company is pleased with the president’s section 301 tariff actions.”

Joel Ross, CEO, Universal Electric: “My company makes innovative electrical power distribution products. Last year we discovered that a Chinese company copied key electrical components designed by our engineering team. They are selling these products in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. It is long past time that the US government stands up for domestic manufacturers.”

Earl Cunningham, President and CEO, Eklind Tool: “China's predatory trade practices and intellectual property theft endanger the future of the US machinery and advanced manufacturing industries, which are major consumers of our hand tool products. My company strongly supports the administration's Section 301 tariffs as the next step towards covering the broader manufacturing supply chain against predation.”

Bill Bullard, CEO, R-CALF USA: “My organization represents cattle producers across the country. Our industry has been harmed by trade cheating and trade deficits due in part to subsidized imports and lack of country of origin labeling. We support the president’s actions on China technology theft as well as a future comprehensive strategy to increase domestic producers' market share of the US market.”

Zach Mottl, Chief Alignment Officer, Atlas Tool Works: “Due to predatory trade from China, including forced technology transfer, subsidies, and intellectual property theft, my company were harmed when the telecommunications and internet industry largely left the US. Because we supplied that industry for nearly 90 years, we were forced to cut our workforce in half and suffered through years of financial losses when the entire supply chain was suddenly moved to China. We commend the Trump administration for tackling this issue and defending America’s high-tech sectors. I hope we will see telecom and internet switches and routers made in the USA again, with tariffs helping to level the playing field in favor of domestic production.”

Daniel Patrick McGahn, CEO, AMSC: “Chinese intellectual property theft dramatically changed our business and impacted more than 700 families. We lost more than 70% of our revenues and reduced our labor force and our physical  footprint by 70%. Our situation has yielded criminal convictions in Austria and America. We have had to be resilient as a company and have turned our focus to enhancing the resilience of the American Naval Fleet and the American Electrical Grid. We support actions that attach consequences to bad Chinese behavior. The estimates of the value of American intellectual property stolen annually are larger than the total amount of annual trade between the China and the United States. We need to protect American companies from future theft and find a path to restitution for the victims of past theft. Intellectual property theft will dramatically change our way of life, and our standard of living, for this generation and the next.” 

Greg Owens, CEO, Liberty Tabletop: “My company is the only US manufacturer of flatware. Our community was devastated when flatware manufacturer Oneida closed and moved to China. Twenty five hundred jobs were lost. We purchased the facility and restarted flatware production. China’s industrial subsidies create severe challenges for growing our business. We support the administration’s 301 tariffs for China’s technology theft and encourage further action to protect America’s manufacturers and agricultural producers from predatory trade practices.”

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