A bipartisan group of 140 House members has called for the Biden Administration to cut US tariffs on a wide section of imported Chinese goods.
Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) asked fellow representatives to sign a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai asking that billions of dollars worth of “Section 301” tariffs be lifted on Chinese products.
The tariffs were put in place originally by President Donald Trump after many years of free trade policies that cost Americans an estimated 3.7 million jobs since 2001.
The letter has been signed by a large group of House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The letter urges Tai to “immediately expand its exclusion process,” meaning removing more products from the list subject to the tariffs.
The letter includes many free trade talking points about higher consumer prices. It requests the removal of products covered under Section 301 be made retroactive to “make businesses whole.” John Carney, Economics Editor with Breitbart News, has written virtually no evidence that the Trump-era tariffs have increased consumer prices for Americans.
The letter is supported by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), a trade association representing major clothing producers who manufacture their products in China, including Reebok, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein.
The AAFA’s PAC has donated to the campaigns of several of the House members signing the letter for this year’s election cycle, including Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Adrian Smith (R-NE).
Economist Jeff Ferry has cited a 2019 study supporting US tariffs of 25 percent on every Chinese imported product that indicated that tariff level would create more than one million domestic jobs for Americans over five years.
Ferry has noted that tariffs would stimulate American domestic manufacturing in ways that would escalate over time. He found that a permanent tariff would be more effective and incentivize American companies to bring production “back home.”