Apparel and Footwear Association Victory in Today's Tariff Announcement

June 15, 2018 | WASHINGTON, D.C

Association remains deeply concerned with impact of tariffs on American consumers and manufacturers

American Apparel & Footwear Association president and CEO Rick Helfenbein released the following statement in response to today’s publication by the Trump administration, listing U.S. imports from China that it will hit with a 25 percent tariff.

"We applaud the decision to remove most of the equipment and machinery used in our domestic textile, apparel, and footwear manufacturing that were proposed by the administration in April. As we have shared — including in testimony on May 16 — levying a tariff on these items would have increased costs for domestic manufacturers across our industry, leading to higher prices and lower sales.

“At the same time, we remain deeply concerned. Any new tariffs present an immense burden for the American people. Further, China has already made clear that it will retaliate swiftly. China previously identified almost $1 billion worth of American cotton exports to China as a target, which will hurt American farmers and U.S. textile manufacturers, and add costs to our supply chains. Finally, ramping up tariffs doesn’t help bilateral trade talks reach a successful conclusion. It’s hard to see how anyone benefits from this.

"President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely; but there are grave consequences to the use of tariffs. Congress needs to step in now to end this dangerous obsession. Tariffs are nothing but a hidden, regressive tax, plain and simple. The tariffs imposed on products imported by American businesses — and the resulting retaliatory tariffs against exports made by American manufacturers and farmers — amount to a huge ‘Trump Tax’ on American workers, American consumers, and the American economy. We urge Congress to use its Article 1, Section 8 powers provided by the U.S. Constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations.”