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Import Tariffs Will Cause Collateral Damage to U.S. Manufacturers, Warns NEMA


05/14/2018 12:00PMSign-up to receive press releases.

​Electrical and medical imaging manufacturers want fair and open trade in global market

ROSSLYN, Va., May 14, 2018—The Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) proposal to address China's practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation through the imposition of tariffs on approximately $50 billion in imported products will cause collateral damage throughout the U.S. manufacturing supply chain, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

"NEMA shares the concerns of USTR regarding China's industrial policies and intellectual property practices," says NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff. "However, U.S. electrical and medical imaging manufacturers support an approach that results in fair and open global markets through the application of clear, binding, and enforceable trade rules and compliance with international norms of intellectual property protection."

Many U.S. electrical manufacturers either produce their own products in China or source finished goods and components from contractual partners in China as a means to support their U.S. operations. The USTR proposal would place a 25 percent tariff on more than 100 product types within or adjacent to NEMA scope—as well as many other items that are inputs to U.S.-based manufacturing. Affected products include everything from electric motors, transformers, and switchgear to LED chips, residential thermostats, and medical imaging equipment such as CT, MRI and X-ray units.

If implemented, the tariffs would place U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage relative to their foreign and domestic competitors who are not covered by the tariffs. Additionally this action would result in a substantial "tax" burden on U.S. manufacturing operations that already face tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"Tariffs are 'blunt instruments' that abet collateral damage up and down supply chains. Comprehensive trade and investment agreements between the U.S. and China targeting unfair trade practices coupled with effective utilization of binding dispute settlement processes would be a more effective way to address trade discord. If tariffs are perceived to be necessary for negotiating a fair agreement, their use should be very short-lived," added Cosgriff.

NEMA's full written comments on the proposals are available here. Speaking on behalf of U.S. electrical and medical imaging manufacturers, NEMA Vice President Government Relations Kyle Pitsor will present oral testimony to the USTR Section 301 Committee on May 16. 

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The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems. Our combined industries account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.

Press contact:
Tracy Cullen
703-841-3282
press@nema.org

 

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