Blog post by Ashley Duckman
Ashley Duckman is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Maryland Chamber. As the VP, she leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the 4,500+ members of the Maryland Chamber before the Maryland General Assembly and on the federal level. Duckman’s responsibilities include developing, leading, and executing the legislative strategy of the organization and maintaining positive working relationships with key elected officials and members of the Administration in order to build a better understanding of and appreciation for business issues.
On September 12, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce will host our 2019 Congressional Roundup in Washington, D.C. This annual event provides Maryland’s business leaders the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital in order to gain insight on the federal policy process and current critical issues, as well as share feedback directly with decision makers.
There is no shortage of ongoing issues within the current Administration and Congress that are impacting Maryland’s employers. Trade issues, for example, continue to garner attention and are creating a lack of stability and uncertainty from an economic perspective. Congress has not yet moved to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). More than 12 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, and U.S. manufacturers export more made-in-America manufactured goods to our north American neighbors than they do to the next 11 largest export markets combined. The Maryland Chamber has urged our federal delegation to support and approve this crucial trade agreement, as it is critically important to Maryland, which exported more than $1.6 billion worth of goods to Canada in 2018.
In addition, the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is already having damaging effects on American consumers and businesses. According to recent analysis, the trade war with China will hit American consumers and businesses with higher costs on commonly used products and materials. As a result, it stands to slow the United States’ recent economic resurgence. In fact, the Administration’s most recent announcement triggered a drop in the U.S. stock market and stoked further concerns about the global economy being headed for a recession.
In 2018, following its investigation of China’s practices related to forced technology transfer and intellectual property, the Trump administration began imposing tariffs, which total approximately $250 billion to date, on imported Chinese products. With a looming threat of additional tariffs coming from the U.S., China consequently retaliated with $110 billion in tariffs on American-made products and announced an additional $75 billion worth of U.S. goods by the end of the year. In response, President Trump announced a tax increase from 25 percent to 30 percent starting October 1 on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Further, he announced that another $300 billion in goods being taxed at 10 percent would attract a 15 percent rate.
These issues and many others will be addressed by our impressive line up of speakers at the Congressional Roundup. Education and workforce development, immigration policy and cybersecurity are among the other topics that will covered when we meet in Washington on September 12. This event is a tremendous opportunity to interact with fellow business leaders and policymakers to discuss the impact federal policy has on Maryland’s employers.
We encourage your participation and hope to see you there. To register for the Congressional Roundup, click here.