Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey has begun circulating a sign-on letter in the Senate addressed to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer calling for an exclusion process for the Section 301 list three tariffs.

Sen. Toomey’s letter reads, in part: “There is no doubt that China deploys aggressive economic and industrial policies, in part by breaking international norms and violating the rule of the law. As your agency’s section 301 investigation found, Beijing’s actions have significantly impaired the ability of American companies to expand and invest in China …

“However, we remain concerned that many of the section 301 tariffs imposed on Chinese imports will first and foremost have a negative economic effect on American consumers, businesses, and workers. Section 301 tariffs are direct taxes paid by U.S. importers, and are passed through as added costs to U.S.-based manufacturers and American consumers. Further, the section 301 tariffs have caused significant indirect harm in the form of retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. exports, including on numerous agricultural products.”

The exclusion process provides tariff exemptions so that U.S. manufacturers can continue to source components and materials from China, particularly when there is no alternate supplier. The process was available for the first two lists of tariffs on Chinese imports imposed under Section 301. The letter requests the same process be applied to the third list.

This Congressional sign-on letter is also an opportunity for senators to list the companies they are hearing from regarding product exclusions. PPAI encourages industry companies to contact their senators to sign the letter, and to include their company name on the letter.

PPAI is working with experts both within and outside the industry to develop tools for promotional products businesses to stay informed of, identify and navigate the tariffs and their effects. Follow PPB Newslink for more information as it becomes available. The Association also encourages industry companies to communicate with supply chain partners, clients and end users about the tariffs and their impact.