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Manufacturers Liken Impact of Tariffs to Obama-Era Regulations

Sept. 26, 2018
Tariffs are beginning to generate uncertainty similar to that of past administration's potential regulatory actions, according to NAM president.

Tariffs are beginning to offset some of the positive impacts that American manufacturers have enjoyed since President Donald Trump started rolling back regulations, according to Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufactures.

“If you look back a couple of years ago, and the uncertainty that existed because of potential regulatory impediments that the past administration were putting forward, I’m starting to see the exact same type of uncertainty being generated” because of tariffs, he said Tuesday during an interview on Bloomberg Television with David Westin.

Timmons spoke a day after the Trump administration ratcheted up tensions with China by slapping tariffs on $200 billion of goods from the Asian nation. Beijing responded by imposing duties of its own and calling off trade negotiations with Washington. Trump’s move is part of his push to increase pressure on China to lower trade barriers and protect U.S. firms from theft of intellectual property.

Timmons, whose Washington-based association represents small and large-scale manufacturers, said he’s hopeful Trump’s tactics will eventually make it easier for American companies to do business with China.

“If all of those things can be addressed through a bilateral rules-based trade agreement, then the effort will have been worth it,” he said. “The question is, how long will it take to get China back to the table?”

By Sarah Foster

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