Loudoun Chamber Joins Call for Tariff Curbs

The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce has signed onto a letter penned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supporting a bill that would require the president to check with Congress before raising some tariffs.

The Loudoun Chamber and more than 200 local and regional business organizations signed on to the letter, urging the passage of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)’s Senate Bill 3013. It would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The letter stated that the “… business and agriculture communities are deeply concerned that the President’s unrestricted use of section 232 to impose tariffs may not be in the national interest.”

“It is now also increasingly clear that the way the steel and aluminum tariffs have been used will result in retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, and that retaliation will have serious negative economic impacts on the United States,” the letter continues. “The tariffs are also undermining U.S. efforts to build an international coalition of like-minded countries to join the United States in combating the use of unfair trade and investment policies.”

President Donald J. Trump has begun implementing tariffs on some goods produced overseas, and has threatened a 25 percent tariff on automobile and auto parts imports. Business groups and owners have warned the tariffs threaten American jobs and paychecks, including an announcement that motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson plans to move some production overseas and warnings from auto manufacturers General Motors and Mazda that those tariffs could force job cuts. Toyota released a statement saying the tariff would add $1,800 to the cost of the Camry sedan, which is manufactured in Kentucky, and that its 137,000 American employees “are not a national security threat.”

Reuters reports the U.S. Chamber is also expected to spend millions this year to help elect candidates who back free trade, immigration and reduced taxes, and has already backed like-minded Republicans in primary races.

“The Loudoun Chamber is in full support of fair trade and promoting American business, but this proposal by the current Administration is not the way to do it,” stated Loudoun Chamber Government Relations Manager Eric Johnson. “The long term negative impacts on free trade would outweigh any short term benefits to a few industries.”

rgreene@loudounnow.com

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