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  September 7th, 2018 | Written by

Freedom Partners: Administration’s tariffs a self-destructive policy

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  • Indiana lawn care accessories manufacturer laid off 75 employees in response to Washington’s tariffs.
  • Coca-Cola is raising prices on cans of Coke.
  • Tariffs resulted in 60 layoffs at Missouri nail company, with the potential for hundreds more.

The United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) in August held a comment period and public hearings on the administration’s proposal to levy additional duties on Chinese goods. The proposal would increase the tariff on Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of imports.

Freedom Partners Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento termed the administration’s tariffs “a self-destructive policy threatening to undermine the tremendous growth our economy experienced in the past two years.”

The news from around the country has not been good. Brinly-Hardy Co., a Jeffersonville, Indiana-based company that manufactures lawn care accessories, laid off 75 employees in response to Washington’s tariffs. Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey announced recently that the company would be raising prices. Though the additional cost on each can of Coke may be small, the costs add up for the company.

A Missouri-based nail company Mid Continent Nail Corp. has seen the prices of raw materials imported from Mexico increase by 25 percent. Nails now cost more, which has turned away customers. Lower revenue has resulted in 60 layoffs at Mid Continent, with the potential for hundreds more.

Tariffs have also cost significant revenue to Little Bay Lobster Co. of New Hampshire. The company had been shipping more than 50 percent of its lobsters to China, about 50,000 pounds a week. But that came to a crashing halt when China imposed a 25-percent tariff on US lobster.

Nascimento urged the administration not “to accelerate this trade war,” and to work “with trading partners like China to protect intellectual property.” He added: We’re encouraged by news that leaders from Beijing and Washington are meeting to re-start a trade dialogue. Ultimately, that is a better path to create more American jobs and achieve tariff-free trade than a trade war.”