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PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole testified on Aug. 23 before the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the unfavorable and consequential impacts that Section 301 tariffs of up to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of products imported from China would have on U.S. plumbing manufacturers, the economy, and consumers.
“The threat of what PMI sees as broad-based tariffs, specifically on plumbing-related products and components, is a significant threat to the American consumer and certainly to the plumbing manufacturing industry,” Stackpole said regarding his testimony. “Further down the stream it impacts commercial development and residential construction.”
Dozens of plumbing-related products and components were included on the most recent list (known as List 3). The $200 billion list also targeted furniture, cabinets, lighting products, chemicals, plastics, seafood, and variety of metal components and machinery. If implemented, the tariffs would result in significant supply chain disruptions and increased costs that would have a detrimental impact on American plumbing manufacturers and their workers, on the construction sector, and on retailers and consumers, Stackpole testified.
Representing PMI, Stackpole’s goal was focused on encouraging the administration on getting back to the negotiating table with China.
“Based on our research so far,” Stackpole noted, “about 53 percent of our members oppose tariffs and 27 percent support them. There is an argument to be made that we need China to adhere to international norms around intellectual property and the transfer of technology and allowing for foreign investment. There are things that China needs to do. Our position is not that China is right and the U.S. wrong. It’s quite the contrary. We’re saying that we recognize that China is not adhering to these international norms. We know they should be. We believe the U.S. should find a way to get them back to the bargaining table so we can get them focused on these things. But we believe these broad-based tariffs are going to do more damage than good in pursuit of that.”
While PMI supports Trump Administration actions to hold China accountable for their intellectual property violations, PMI opposed the imposition of new tariffs at either 10 percent or 25 percent.
Furthermore, the number of objections to the proposed duties spoke volumes about the damage that additional tariffs would do. The hearing, which ran from Aug. 20-24 and on Aug. 27, included more than 350 witnesses from a broad cross-section of U.S. businesses. And more than 3,200 comments were submitted to the docket.
For more information on PMI’s efforts, click here.