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New Plan to Increase Tariffs on Chinese Imports Garners Public Support

New Plan to Increase Tariffs on Chinese Imports Garners Public Support

by Danielle Smith, Keystone State News Connection

June 28 was the last day for Pennsylvanians to submit feedback to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative about a Biden administration proposal to increase tariffs on $18 billion worth of imports from China.

Pennsylvania manufacturers account for nearly 13% of the state’s total output and employ almost 10% of the workforce.

Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of the Trade Justice Education Fund, said the tariff plan would safeguard better-paying manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania and nationwide from unfair import competition.

“The type of imports that are being targeted are all too often made with sweatshop labor and even forced labor,” Stamoulis explained. “The tariffs are needed for U.S. manufacturers to be able to compete on a level playing field. So, this is going to be good for jobs in Pennsylvania, and well beyond Pennsylvania.”

Stamoulis noted the Biden administration’s proposal to increase tariffs on the semiconductor, renewable energy and automotive sectors has garnered more than 2,500 comments. He added the tariffs aim to boost the number of producers and prevent monopolies, particularly in industries dominated by China. However, critics warned they could provoke retaliatory measures and harm international trade relations.

Stamoulis pointed out the combination of tariffs and investments from the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act has significantly reshaped America’s manufacturing landscape and has led to a manufacturing boom in Pennsylvania and around the country.

“There were more new factories built in the U.S. in 2023 than at any point in the last three decades and these tariffs are going to help protect that investment,” Stamoulis contended. “They’re designed to prevent unfair imports overseas from undercutting the production of goods made under fair conditions here at home.”

Stamoulis added the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will review the comments and make a final decision about whether, when and how to impose the new tariffs. His group hopes the administration’s plan moves forward.