Watchdog Urges Greater Progress on Trade Negotiations

Watchdog Urges Greater Progress on Trade Negotiations

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan
(202-855-4380)

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a nonpartisan advocacy organization representing taxpayers and consumers across the country, applauded President Trump for signing a limited “Phase One” trade deal with China after months of deliberations between the two powers. The agreement halves the existing 15 percent tariff rate on $110 billion worth of Chinese goods to 7.5 percent, while shoring up key intellectual property (IP) protections for American companies doing business with China. But the agreement still leaves tariffs intact on more than $250 billion worth of goods imported from the Asian nation, and promises to reduce tariffs in the future have proven elusive. 

TPA Executive Director Tim Andrews praised the limited progress achieved in the agreement, stating, “make no mistake: tariffs are taxes on the American consumer. The American people are tired of this trade war, which has cost the average household nearly $1,000 per year in higher prices across the board. Meanwhile, businesses across the country report unprecedented trouble in bringing their goods to market, expanding operations, and hiring new employees as the result of rampant trade taxes imposed by the Trump administration. And, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve, the trade war has led to significant job losses throughout the manufacturing sector. It’s time to reduce these runaway taxes, and this ‘Phase One’ trade deal with China will offer relief for the American people. It’s encouraging to see these small steps in the right direction, even if significantly more progress is sorely needed to bring the trade war to an end.” 

Andrews continued: “In addition to reducing tariffs on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese goods, this agreement safeguards critical IP protections for American businesses looking to trade across the Pacific. Rampant Chinese theft of companies’ properties has made overseas trade a daunting process, and up until now, the Chinese government has given preciously-little indication that it intends to clean up its act. One in five companies have seen their IP stolen by the communist regime, with losses exceeding an astounding $225 billion per year. Now that the Chinese government has resolved to crack down on these abuses, Americans can finally benefit from this regained property via lower prices and higher salaries.” 

Andrews concluded: “Unfortunately, the trade war with China is far from finished. Tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of products that Americans rely on remain untouched, and U.S. companies continue to face astronomically high costs in bringing their goods to market. Hopefully, ‘Phase Two’ of the trade agreement with China will allow for far more reductions in these harmful trade taxes. Millions of livelihoods depend on it.” 

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