Position statement:

CPA supports a domestic industrial strategy, including trade and tariff policy, that restores a broad array of industrial supply chains to the United States.


Strategy Summary:

America has become weaker and poorer in recent decades by pursuing trade agreements and policies that encourage economic deindustrialization. Millions of good paying jobs, thousands of manufacturing firms, and scores of industries have been lost. Our country has shifted too far towards the service sector which too often consists of low wage, low hour jobs, generates too little productivity, and exacerbates income insecurity. China and other trade competitor countries have outperformed us in the quantity and quality of industries and employment which give rise to prosperity and national strength.

CPA supports trade policies that support, rather than cripple, a national strategy to rebuild our economy into a wealth producing engine that generates broadly shared prosperity. We support increasing tariffs to address trade cheating, achieve reciprocal market access and to protect the industries important to our economy. CPA believes it is crucial to achieve balanced trade to ced future growth.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill

Miscellaneous Tariff Bills are advertised as temporarily reducing or eliminating tariffs on intermediate products used by American manufacturers that are not produced or available domestically. The truth is that this process is used by vendors with no domestic manufacturing to speak of, importing finished goods and undermining our domestic producers and their domestic supply chain.

De Minimis Imports Hurt American Workers and the Public Health

De minimis imports are the gateway for every fly-by-night foreign seller to ship millions of packages directly into the United States without inspections, tariffs or taxes on their profits. Once a small part of international trade, de minimis shipments, commonly referred to as Section 321, have exploded in volume with the rise of Amazon, e-commerce and China’s industrial strategy.

US companies and workers are subjected to a new level of job-destroying competition. Illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, and counterfeit goods are shipped directly to US consumers while evading detection.

Under pressure from Big Business and importers, Congress raised our de minimis threshold to purchases of $800 or less in 2015. That amount is very permissive, nearly the highest in the world. Virtually all other countries are more strict. Mexico’s threshold is $50 while China’s is $8 per package.

The predictable result is a major calamity putting U.S. producers and traditional retailers out of business and destroying jobs. Our permissiveness is also causing lawlessness at the ports, allowing a tidal wave of counterfeit and dangerous goods to flood in.

For regular imports, the law requires importers to provide Customs & Border Protection (CBP) an advance manifest of the incoming cargo describing it. But de minimis shipments, including millions of e-commerce packages, typically arrive with no advance information. The information scrawled on the packages is often incomplete and unverifiable. CBP has to process a whopping 2 million of these shipments daily and does not have the capability to detect and seize illicit and dangerous goods.

CPA supports dramatically lowering the $800 threshold in line with other countries’ levels to force importers to pay tariffs when due and to allow CBP to receive advance information so they can better regulate whether unlawful goods are in the packages. CPA also supports prohibiting de minimis imports from countries who the US Trade Representative have determined have problems with intellectual property protections. We have submitted a rule-making petition to the Secretary of the Treasury to ban informal shipments (which includes de minimis) from those high counterfeit risk countries, which are identified on USTR’s “Priority Watch” list.

Our issue experts are available for media interviews. Please Contact Nick Iacovella, CPA Communications Director to learn more.

P: 202-688-5145 ext 0 | E: [email protected]

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