Industry Group Urges Deferral Of Federal Duties, Fees During Current Crisis

Americans for Free Trade, a coalition representing 470 businesses and trade associations, including PPAI, and every part of the U.S. economy, sent a letter to President Trump today asking to delay all duties and fees U.S. companies pay to the federal government, and an expansion of the Administration’s current program to defer duties from May and June as well.

“The Administration’s announcement last week to defer the collection of certain duties for 90 days was a good first step, but many companies were excluded from this measure and will still owe significant duties to the federal government during a time of economic crisis,” says Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold. “As hundreds of small and large businesses face urgent liquidity issues, we are calling on President Trump to go further and delay all duty payments to help give companies the cash they need to stay open, preserve American jobs and be in a position of strength when the economy reopens.”

Americans for Free Trade notes that the Administration could expand the current executive order and defer collection of all duties without waiting on authorization from Congress. As it currently stands, the Administration is only deferring the collection of some duties and only for imports made in the months of March and April. Deferring all duties for imports made in March, April, May and June would instantly free up billions of dollars for companies, many of which currently have little to no revenue, to use to pay employees, suppliers and other critical bills.

The full text of Americans for Free Trade’s letter can be found here.

filed under Apri 2020
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