AAFA CEO Applauds Decision to Hold Talks to Remove New and Existing Trade Barriers

July 25, 2018 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Rick Helfenbein applauded the announcement that the U.S. and EU will hold talks to “work toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies,” as announced by President Donald Trump during a joint press conference today with President Jean-Claude Juncker. 

“This is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Helfenbein. “After months of working in an unstable business environment, we are glad to hear that our nation will resume civilized conversation with some of our closest trading partners, and that threats of new and additional tariffs will not be issued during these negotiations. Of course, if these trade barriers are removed, it would be a boon for Made in USA.

“At the same time, they have yet to resolve the retaliatory tariffs that affect our industry, and it is critically important to remember that the administration has developed some serious contentious relations with other trading nations which remain unresolved, including with our top three trading partners – China, Canada, and Mexico. Wherever punitive tariffs on U.S. imports remain, and wherever there are still lingering threats, and wherever supply chains are forced to re-align, the American consumer will continue to foot the bill. Americans can expect inflation, they can expect prices to rise, they can expect sales to fall, and ultimately they can expect jobs to be lost while these threats persist.”