Congress urged to slow costly trade rule

Nov 19, 2020
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

Washington Retail is encouraging members of Congress to co-sign a letter asking federal trade officials to put more study into a proposed trade rule that would significantly increase costs for retailers who import merchandise from overseas.

The executive order would require tariffs on millions of additional shipments that currently are exempt. The letter notes that a retailer importing a product valued at $50 who hopes to sell it for $65 would incur an estimated $60 in additional tariffs and fees if the rule were implemented.

Such a scenario would greatly increase the price to customers or make such as item unsellable. In either case, economic damage would certainly follow during the worst possible time, the national and worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

WR has joined the National Retail Federation and scores of other business associations in urging an end to U.S. trade wars because of the damage they do to the economy and consumers.

The letter is addressed to Russell Vought, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and officials of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, the National Economic Council, Small Business Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs.

We’re asking that a cost-benefit analysis be undertaken to allow the trade community and other interested stakeholders 60 days to evaluate whether the rule should be adopted.