Wall Street’s U.S. multinationals moved the majority of U.S. apparel manufacturing to southeast Asia for the past several decades; as a result they virtually wiped out major apparel hubs in the United States. Now those same multinationals are claiming their production shift to making masks and PPE in China means the tariffs on imports should be lifted; and they are sending their corporate lobbyists into DC to pitch that message.
There are no tariffs on U.S. healthcare products made in the USA. If the apparel industry wants to avoid tariffs, then bring the manufacturing back home. Critical manufacturing in the United States is what U.S. consumers of those and other goods want.
President Trump should not lower tariffs on imported PPE, he should actually raise those tariffs as high as needed to shift that manufacturing back to the U.S.
The time is now to wage battle against the Wall Street manufacturers & K-St lobbyists.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is “turbocharging” an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as it weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials familiar with U.S. planning.
[…] “We’ve been working on [reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China] over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. State Department told Reuters.
“I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist,” Krach said, adding that the matter was key to U.S. security and one the government could announce new action on soon.
The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China. Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes, the current and former officials told Reuters.
“There is a whole of government push on this,” said one. Agencies are probing which manufacturing should be deemed “essential” and how to produce these goods outside of China.
[…] “This moment is a perfect storm; the pandemic has crystallized all the worries that people have had about doing business with China,” said another senior U.S. official.
“All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they’ve been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage” from the coronavirus, the official said. (read more)
This is not only good policy, it’s good politics. The vast majority of Americans now realize how important it is for critical manufacturing to return to the United States.
Considering the position of the new USMCA trade agreement, this is the perfect moment to put additional punitive pressure on China, increase tariffs on imported goods, and support an entire government approach to incentivize a resurgence in American manufacturing independence.