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  September 28th, 2018 | Written by

AAPA concerned over US trade tariffs

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  • AAPA urges administration to consider negative impacts of tariffs on US ports.
  • New tariffs took effect on September 28 with the imposition of a 10-percent tariff, increasing later to 25 percent.
  • AAPA CEO Kurt Nagle: Impact of Section 301 tariffs is already proving to be significant.

With the United States government’s announcement on the imposition of an additional $200 billion in protective trade tariffs against Chinese imports, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) continues to urge the administration and federal policymakers to consider the negative impacts that tariffs have on port and other trade-related US jobs nationwide, including the effects of retaliatory responses. The new tariffs took effect on September 28 with the imposition of a 10-percent tariff which will increase to 25 percent by the end of the year.

“The impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through American ports is already proving to be significant,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Including the additional $200 billion just imposed, the total Section 301 tariffs on Chinese commodities and China’s response in retaliation responses covers about 10 percent of all trade that moves through America’s ports by value, which is concerning.

“AAPA was pleased, however, to see that port cranes, tariff line 8426.19, were removed from the list, as we recommended at the recent hearings,” Nagle added. “Tariffs on these cranes, which cost upwards of $14 million each, would have harmed ports’ ability to make the investments necessary to handle the larger vessels now being used in ocean trade and hurt US international competitiveness.”

At $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 $320 billion in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but one-percent of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities.

“Because trade supports everyone, AAPA is encouraging federal policymakers to work swiftly to restore market certainties and forge paths to expand US exports, rather than create new import restrictions,” said Nagle.

During the USTR’s Section 301 hearings in late August, AAPA urged that the multi-million-dollar container cranes that US ports have on order and are considering purchasing from Chinese factories, for which there are no American-made alternatives, be exempt from tariffs. USTR did remove tariff line 8426.19 from the final list so these large cranes are not subject to the newly announced tariffs.