Maryland Chamber supports legislation affecting tariff imposition

(June 15, 2018–ANNAPOLIS, Md.)–The Maryland Chamber of Commerce joins the U.S. Chamber and others around the world in voicing serious concerns about tariffs that are deeply affecting the U.S. and Maryland’s business and agriculture communities.

The Maryland Chamber and U.S. Chamber back legislation (S. 3013) led by Senator Corker and a bipartisan group of senators that will require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

This legislation comes at a crucial time after the most recent increase of tariffs on steel and aluminum. With retaliation tariffs implemented from our largest trading partners and allies, the economic impact on the United States has been detrimental. They also curtail efforts to build an international coalition against unfair trade and investment policies.

The potential increase of a 25 percent tariff on imported automobiles and auto parts will have tremendous negative impacts on the U.S. auto industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the U.S., and the biggest exporter in the country. Running the risk of retaliatory tariffs would be dangerous, with effects spilling over into related industries and sectors.

“The Maryland Chamber has been working tirelessly to strengthen manufacturing in Maryland. The recent tariffs on steel and aluminum will cause the state to be less competitive in an industry that is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs. Manufacturing organizations and the Port of Baltimore will be hit twice as hard with the automobile tariff,” said Maryland Chamber President & CEO Christine Ross.

“The Port of Baltimore is one of the nation’s most diverse ports with automobiles as one of the key imports. Increasing tariffs will have a noticeable impact on the economy through increased costs of business resulting in increasing unemployment.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said, “This isn’t about national security. The administration has already signaled its true objective is to leverage this tariff threat in trade negotiations with Mexico, Canada, Japan, the European Union, and South Korea. These allies provide nearly all U.S. auto imports and are among America’s closest partners. Neither they nor these imports endanger our national security in any way.”

This legislation would still allow the president to impose tariffs in the interest of national security, but would now require the Congress to confirm that the power is being used correctly.

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