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NEMA Says Proposed China Tariffs Materially Disadvantage Manufacturers

Today the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) testified on behalf of NEMA Member companies and the 360,000 American workers employed in the electrical and medical imaging manufacturing workforce who would be materially affected by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) proposed 25 percent tariff on more than 100 electrical and medical imaging products and inputs.

“According to U.S. government trade data, we have estimated the 2017 value of Chinese shipments to U.S.-based electrical and medical imaging manufacturers was approximately $9 billion, or slightly less than 1/5 of the entire $50 billion in imports targeted by the proposal,” said NEMA Vice President Government Affairs Kyle Pitsor. “If the 25 percent tariffs are implemented as proposed, they would represent a tax increase on U.S. manufacturers and their industrial, commercial, and residential customers valued at about $2.25 billion.”

Many U.S. electrical manufacturers either produce their own products in China or source finished goods and components from contractual partners in China as a means to support their U.S. operations. The USTR’s proposal would place a 25 percent tariff on more than 100 product types within or adjacent to NEMA scope—as well as many other items that are inputted to U.S.-based manufacturing. Affected products include everything from electric motors, transformers, and switchgear to LED chips, residential thermostats, and medical imaging equipment such as CT, MRI, and X-ray units.

“If implemented, the tariffs will increase the tax burden on U.S. manufacturing operations that are already at a competitive disadvantage due to the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The imprecision of broad-based tariffs will result in collateral damage up and down the global supply chains that is better avoided,” Pitsor added.

“U.S. electrical and medical imaging manufacturers support an approach that results in fair and open global markets through the application of clear, binding, and enforceable trade rules and compliance with international norms of intellectual property protection,” Pitsor said. “We urge the Administration to consider and pursue alternative measures to bring about the necessary changes in Beijing that result in free and fair trade in our global marketplace.”

View the full transcript of Pitsor’s testimony online.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems. Our combined industries account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.

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