It’s time to be blunt. Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), has made a strong rebuttal to President Trump’s statement that he is prepared to impose new punitive tariffs on all $500 billion of U.S. imports from China.
“We all want to participate in a trading system that creates more jobs in America and respects our intellectual property, but tariffs will not do this. In fact, tariffs make American companies and farms less competitive—not more competitive—threatening the very livelihoods of millions of American workers and farmers. We want to expand opportunities in the global market, which is made possible through trade agreements that remove trade barriers.
“It is time to stop using the American consumer as a pawn in this conflict. Tariffs are taxes. Period. This is a short-sighted approach that will hit low-income Americans the hardest, imposing new hidden taxes on everything they must buy for themselves and their families. While the people making the decisions in Washington will be able to afford to pay a little more for their necessities, the average American does not live under the same circumstances.
“More tariffs will not resolve this conflict—they will only create inflation, hurt the consumer and damage the economy.”