WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Trump administration’s announcement of tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports:
“Over the last year, manufacturers have delivered for our communities and our people, raising wages, building new plants and creating new jobs thanks to game-changing tax and regulatory reform. But more U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliation risk undoing that progress and moving our economy in the wrong direction.
“With every day that passes without progress on a rules-based, bilateral trade agreement with China, the potential grows for manufacturers and manufacturing workers to get hurt. No one wins in a trade war, and manufacturing workers are hopeful the administration’s approach will quickly yield results. Now is the time for talks—not just tariffs—and manufacturers have laid out a blueprint to reset the U.S.-China commercial relationship that will result in ending China’s unfair and anti-competitive behavior.”
In January of this year, Timmons and the NAM sent a letter to the President urging the administration to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with China. Given plans for additional negotiations, Timmons said that they need to start bearing fruit, because “the costs of a sustained trade war have the potential to be devastating for America’s manufacturers and workers.” In August, the NAM released a three-point framework outlining manufacturers’ priorities to be included in any trade agreement between the two countries.
Timmons also joined CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss the U.S.-China trade war and his concerns:
Timmons on Additional U.S.–China Tariffs
“The ultimate goal is not tariffs. The ultimate goal is to get China to play by a set of rules, to quit stealing intellectual property, to quit subsidizing their products and to play fairly. And when China talks about restoring the rules of international trade—well, they’re not playing by the rules right now. Our issue, of course, is that tariffs drive up the cost of goods here in the United States, drives up the cost for consumers. So, for manufacturers, we want to see the administration successfully bring China back to the table for negotiations. We’ve been calling for a rules-based, bilateral trade agreement for many months now. And we want to see that done.”
Timmons on China’s Ridiculous Postal Subsidy
“We want to see China play by the rules. I’m sitting here with a Mighty Mug that is manufactured or is a product of a United States manufacturer. The intellectual property is owned here in the United States by the Mighty Mug company. It is cheaper to send that mug from China because of an outdated 150-year-old rule on shipping rates than it is to ship it across the street here in this country. That’s not fair. That is not fair to manufacturers here in the United States. We’ve got to get these rules under control. China has got to come back to the table.”
Timmons on the Skills Gap Crisis in Manufacturing
“We have been on an upswing for the last several years and that has been supercharged over the last 18 months because, again, of tax reform and regulatory reform. I believe if we get these trade issues under control and we’re able to deal with them successfully, the manufacturing sector in this country is going to continue to grow and to thrive. We already predict by the year 2025 that we will have to fill 3.5 million jobs in manufacturing. Some of that, of course, is due to attrition or folks retiring and that 2 million of those will be unfilled because we can’t find the folks that have the right skills necessary to do those jobs. So education and training is going to be an important component of building the manufacturing sector in the future.”
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