NEMA Urges Administration to Minimize Collateral Damage From Tariffs

NEMA Urges Administration to Minimize Collateral Damage From Tariffs

ROSSLYN, Va. — On Tuesday, July 24, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) testified on behalf of its Member companies who would be materially affected by additional 25 percent tariffs proposed by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), supplementing the existing tariffs on more than 100 electrical and medical imaging products and inputs imported from China.

“NEMA Members have remained competitive in the open global economy of the 21st century in part by investing in extensive international supply chains based on comparative advantages,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “Broader market access has fostered innovation, productivity, and growth opportunities for manufacturers, enabling them to service a larger, more diverse customer base and tap the highest quality inputs. These developments have benefitted consumers in the United States and around the world.”

“However, the benefits of openness to international trade are diminished to the extent that trading partners violate internationally agreed trade rules and norms,” Cosgriff concluded. “So NEMA supports USTR actions to defend markets from unfair practices. We would suggest,” he added, “that steps taken should minimize collateral damage associated with higher tariffs and be narrowly targeted and time-limited so as to produce negotiated outcomes that restore and, whenever possible, advance openness and fairness. If the purpose of these tariffs is to get the other party to the negotiating table, our industry for one would like to know when those negotiations are to begin.”

On June 20, USTR issued for public comment and testimony a list of 284 products from China, representing a value of $16 billion that could face 25 percent tariffs in order to compel a change in Beijing’s intellectual property and industrial policies. Of those products, at least 30 are of direct interest to NEMA Members.

“If the 25 percent tariffs are implemented as proposed on these additional products and inputs, they will represent a tax increase on U.S. manufacturers and their industrial, commercial, and residential customers valued at about $500 million,” added NEMA Director for Trade and Commercial Affairs Craig Updyke in testimony to USTR. “These tariffs would be in addition to the $2 billion in U.S. tariffs implemented on July 6 on approximately 100 types of NEMA-scope products and inputs.”

NEMA believes in the global free enterprise based on a solid legal infrastructure with due process to define and protect property rights as well as to ensure adherence to trade agreements. NEMA strives to eliminate barriers to international trade such as tariffs, quotas, and technical regulations that unfairly limit market access.

NEMA’s full written comments are available here.

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