US Ports Urge Gov’t to Consider Bad Impact of Trade Tariffs

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will urge today the federal government to consider the negative impacts that trade tariffs would have on port and other trade-related American jobs nationwide.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

In testimony on August 24 before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, D.C., AAPA will reflect on disadvantages of the recently imposed tariffs, including the effects of likely retaliatory responses.

“The impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through American ports would be significant,” Kurt Nagle, AAPA President and CEO, said.

He will testify on behalf of the ports association as part of Panel 38 during the USTR’s Section 301 tariff hearings from August 20 to 27.

“Including the additional USD 200 billion proposed, the total Section 301 tariffs on Chinese commodities and China’s retaliatory responses, to date, would cover 8.4 percent of trade through America’s ports by value,” Nagle explained.

At USD 4.6 trillion a year, the value of cargo activities at America’s seaports are significant drivers of the US economy, supporting more than 23 million American jobs and generating over USD 320 billion in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but 1 percent of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities.

In addition to citing the negative impacts on imports, exports and jobs that are likely to occur by increasing US trade tariffs, during his testimony, Nagle will request that the multi-million-dollar container cranes that US ports have on order and are considering purchasing from Chinese factories, in which there are no American-made alternatives, be exempt from tariffs.

He will also request that USTR exempt cargo-handling yard equipment at ports that have Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes that are specifically referenced in the Section 301 tariffs expansion proposal.

Earlier this month, the US unveiled a list of around USD 16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25 percent additional tariff. New tariffs came into force on August 23.