Friday, August 9, 2019

Northwest Seaport Commissions Weigh in on Tariffs

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich and Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman weighed in on President Trump’s intent to levy a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imported goods starting Sept. 1.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance has been clear and consistent in our messaging on this topic,” Petrich said. “We support a balanced trading relationship with our global partners but are deeply concerned that the imposition of tariffs leads only to increased costs on US businesses and consumers without any long-term strategic benefit.”

Petrich added that this latest hike on remaining Chinese imports will “create economic harm to our state’s employers, workers, residents, and international partnerships.”

Trump’s announcement comes after a 12th round of negotiations between Chinese and American officials ended without resolution.

“Without any clear indication that additional tariffs will lead to productive outcomes, the United States is simply throwing good money after bad by imposing these increased costs on domestic businesses and consumers,” Bowman said. “Combined two-way trade with China through the NWSA is down 11.75% through end of May compared to the previous year, and down 6 percent through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Our farmers, ranchers, fishing industry, and others are already being deeply harmed, and spreading the impact will only make that problem worse.”