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Supply chain issues continue to hurt businesses; lifting tariffs can help


One of the pervading headlines throughout the past year focused on just how much global supply chain disruption issues have affected American businesses and consumers across the country. Bottlenecks have created significant uncertainty for many businesses, so much so that President Joe Biden met with industry leaders at the White House several times to discuss the situation at the end of last year.

Unfortunately, these problems are likely to continue. Industry experts and business leaders are warning that these same supply chain problems could last throughout this year and potentially beyond. This will keep significant strains on businesses and families as they navigate continued uncertainty in the economy brought on by higher prices and higher costs of doing business.

Taken together, this now becomes one of the Biden administration’s biggest challenges as it faces a contentious midterm election season in the year ahead. How can President Biden and the economic leaders in his administration ease the burden that businesses are facing and will likely continue to face in the years ahead? Perhaps a solution could be found in how the Biden administration approaches global trade.

To date, President Biden has left former President Donald Trump’s signature tariffs on imports from China largely untouched, as he and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai work to better define how the administration will handle trade with China. However, this inaction has had serious consequences for U.S. businesses, as tariffs make the materials and products they need to run their business more expensive. If they can’t absorb the costs, they are faced with serious challenges that can lead to job loss and can force businesses to pass a portion of the costs on to consumers.

Why? Because tariffs are not paid by other countries. They are taxes paid to the U.S. government by American businesses and consumers. The longer these tariffs are left in place, the higher the costs become for industries across the nation. The costs currently sit at just under $130 billion and counting.

The Biden administration should make it a priority to finally lift these tariffs and relieve American businesses of something that has held them back for more than three years. Lifting the tariffs now would be smart policy, particularly as businesses deal with the continuing strain of supply chain issues, and would provide businesses, workers, and families with some much-needed peace of mind until these supply chains can recover.

Many of the challenges we faced last year did not end when the calendar turned over to 2022. To ease the burden, the Biden administration should take every action under its control to make it easier for businesses to deal with these challenges, starting with the trade war. Use of tariffs was misguided policy from the start that was always bound to do more harm than good, and we’ve seen it play out in real time as the trade war approaches its fourth anniversary. For the good of our businesses, families, and communities, it is time to put an end to the trade war and tariffs.

This article was originally posted on Supply chain issues continue to hurt businesses; lifting tariffs can help

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