A number of vital trade issues are raising concerns for key sectors of the American economy. A growing list of tariffs proposed or imposed by our government, as well as the continued uncertainty over the future of NAFTA, threatens to undermine the economic progress we have made. And rather than removing barriers and ending unfair practices against Americans, the Trump administration’s current approach—and the obvious retaliation that will occur in response—poses a serious risk of raising barriers and reducing Americans’ access to vital global markets.
Specifically, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $50 billion in imports from China, and tariffs on steel and aluminum from most countries. More recently, the administration raised the prospect that they will soon impose tariffs on automobiles and auto parts. China, the European Union, Canada, and Mexico have already indicated their intention to impose retaliatory tariffs. If these tariffs are fully implemented, independent studies have projected that hundreds of thousands of American jobs could be in jeopardy.
With respect to the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, the trade ministers have not met as a group since May 11, and time appears to have run out for negotiators to reach a deal in the near term. At this point, there appears to be no clear path forward for negotiators, and the most likely outcome is that negotiations will be put on hold until 2019.
On each of these issues, the Chamber has privately and publicly expressed our concerns to the administration and to Congress about the economic damage that an escalating series of back and forth tariffs would have on our own country. We are educating policymakers and the public and working with many organizational partners and with state and local chambers to press our arguments. For more information on the current situation, please see the U.S. Chamber’s recent