The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is warning that the recent tariff hikes on Chinese goods could lead to devastating effects for the Hoosier business community.
The Trump administration has increased an existing 10 percent tax on many imports to 25 percent. China has said it will retaliate with its own similar tax increase on $60 billion in U.S. goods.
“We are hearing from a variety of members – from all kinds of manufacturers to agricultural companies – that this latest tariff war with China could have serious business implications for them and even throw some into a fight for survival,” says Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “This is such a big, big deal for Indiana, which annually exports $1.1 billion of goods to China.”
Among the top U.S. exports to China are gear boxes for vehicles ($94 million) and medical products like needles and catheters ($57 million).
“We do agree with President Trump that China has gotten off far too easy over the last few decades – paying comparatively low duties and especially with its essentially non-existent intellectual property rights law that encourages innovation theft,” Brinegar noted. “That theft is estimated to cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and it needs to stop. But there has got to be a better way than putting American businesses and jobs on the line. And we are communicating that to members of Indiana’s congressional delegation and the Trump administration.”
The Indiana Chamber is urging business owners and citizens to get in touch with their U.S. senators and representative on this issue, saying the new tariffs “amount to tax increases on Hoosier consumers and businesses, with the price of products we use daily becoming even more expensive.”
The Trump administration has argued the tariffs are needed in order to get a better trade deal with China to protect American businesses and workers from unfair competition.