Editor’s note: Sen. Brown is right that tariff deferral is a terrible idea. The US is suffering from COVID and job losses, not the lack of cheap goods.
A “blanket” deferral of tariff payments would inhibit textile manufacturers’ ability to produce personal protective equipment in the U.S., Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) argued on Wednesday in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
[April 1, 2020 | InsideTrade]
The Trump administration reportedly is eyeing a 90-day deferral of payments on most-favored nation tariffs, although the president denied he had approved any such plan on Tuesday. Brown, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, praised USTR’s decision to lower tariffs on medical supplies as part of the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic but contended that a “blanket deferral” would have unintended consequences.
“Deferring duties on finished apparel and textile products, in particular, will undermine American manufacturers’ efforts to produce the personal protective equipment and medical supplies our frontline workers desperately need,” he wrote in the letter to Lighthizer. “I urge the administration to abandon its consideration of this idea and instead take the steps necessary to support American manufacturers who are stepping up in this time of crisis.”…
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