CPA Praises Hike in Tariffs on Chinese Imports
Tariff increase provides negotiating leverage, helps domestic manufacturers
Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today strongly praised the Trump administration’s decision to increase tariff rates on $200 billion worth of imports from China. President Trump had previously delayed a planned tariff increase—scheduled to take effect in January—to allow more time for negotiations with China to proceed. Because Beijing is slow-walking the current trade discussions, however, the president has announced that the tariffs will rise on Friday from 10 percent to a new rate of 25 percent. Additionally, President Trump said that 25 percent tariffs will also be imposed on a further $325 billion worth of imports from China that currently face no tariffs.
“This is great news for America’s domestic manufacturers,” said CPA Chairman Dan DiMicco. “President Trump continues to confront China’s aggressive trade strategies and its heavily subsidized production of state-sponsored companies. America’s manufacturers and their workers can breathe a sigh of relief that the president isn’t being coerced by the import lobby into abandoning the very leverage that brought Beijing to the negotiating table.”
CPA strongly supports the Section 301 tariffs imposed last June. A lengthy federal investigation in 2018 found that China continues to acquire key, high-tech US assets through intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and repeated cyber attacks on US computer networks. In response, the president imposed tariffs on a wide array of products related to Beijing’s ‘Made in China 2025’ industrial policy, including aerospace, information technology, and robotics.
Rather than curtail its predatory behavior, however, Beijing responded by targeting America’s agricultural sector. The administration subsequently added new tariffs. Since that time, CPA research has determined that the administration’s tariffs have helped to create jobs in a wide array of industrial sectors, including solar panels and steel. Consumer purchasing power is now rising in the face of low inflation and higher wages. And federal data shows US manufacturing employment just reached 12,838,000 workers—the highest level since the start of the Great Recession.
Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, said, “The tariffs are working, and are helping to grow the US economy. To get America moving again, it’s imperative to reclaim our home market from ‘national champion’ companies that receive massive subsidies from China’s central bank.”
CPA notes that Beijing’s lengthy track record of dumping, subsidies, hacking, IP theft, and other predatory behaviors make clear that previous, polite engagement with Beijing hasn’t produced cooperation or results.
Said Stumo, “President Trump’s unilateral action, and his conditioning of access to the US market on reciprocal, open trade, has finally brought Beijing to the negotiating table. It’s the only logical approach to a bully with a completely unilateral agenda. But this is an ongoing process, and even a 25 percent tariff may not be sufficient to end China’s cheating. We support the administration’s ongoing efforts to neutralize China’s predatory capitalism and to confront Beijing as it seeks to erode America’s economic, military, and geopolitical strength.”
Last year, the United States ran a record $419 billion trade deficit with China. Stumo believes this is unsustainable and that relief is needed for affected industries, including agricultural producers. He added, “The administration should consider immediate relief for affected farmers as well as a long-term strategy to support farmers and ranchers affected by global oversupply, including the reinstatement of country-of-origin labeling for meat products.”