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Costs of Recent Trade Policies Rack Up

Posted June 15, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Thomas J. Donohue – U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Our nation’s critical trading relationships are growing more complicated by the day. Using a combination of tariffs and tough negotiating tactics, the Trump administration is attempting to solve a number of real and serious trade challenges facing America around the world. Its approach, however, runs the risk of erasing the recent economic gains it worked so hard to secure through tax and regulatory relief without even solving the underlying problems.

To be clear, the administration is right to call attention to the trade barriers that American companies face and demand reform from our partners. But our strategy must take aim at the right problems, not trade deficits. It must also take aim at the right targets, not our closest allies. Unfortunately, the growing list of tariffs proposed or imposed by our government, as well as the continued uncertainty over the future of NAFTA, is already taking a toll on businesses.

For example, U.S. steel prices have risen nearly 40% since January and are now 50% higher than in Europe. The most recent U.S. Chamber + USG Commercial Construction Index shows higher material costs have suddenly become a substantial concern for contractors. These recent trade moves are creating great uncertainty in the business community, and uncertainty is the enemy of investment. Click here to read more.