Advocacy at NAFEM: At work for members

Advancing the voice of the industry to elected and appointed officials is the key objective of NAFEM’s advocacy work. Most recently, NAFEM has been working to secure the removal of component parts and finished goods from the list of products subject to tariffs on imports from China. Read more about NAFEM’s successes to date and ongoing work below.

NAFEM testifies on Capitol Hill; asks Administration to exclude additional components and finished goods from tariffs on Chinese imports

Following its success securing the removal of 40 percent of member companies’ components and finished goods from the initial list of Section 301 tariffs against Chinese imports, NAFEM is advocating for the exclusion of additional items from list of items subject to a 25 percent tariff.

On July 24, NAFEM’s Vice President, Regulatory & Technical Affairs, Charlie Souhrada, CFSPtestified before the Section 301 Committee of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on the association’s behalf. In the statement – and in written comments NAFEM also submitted on behalf of members – Charlie shared that certain components imported from China are not readily available from other sources and are essential to produce U.S.-manufactured equipment and supplies. He also shared that some items on the proposed second list are shop tools or finished goods manufactured in China for the U.S. marketplace and should not be subject to the 25 percent tariff. NAFEM is awaiting additional feedback to see which additional items will be exempt from tariffs.

At the same time, NAFEM and other organizations continue advocating for a solution to China’s unfair trade practices that does not include tariffs that ultimately hurt American workers and consumers. NAFEM recently released the following statement from President Joe Carlson, CFSP, president, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.

“Foodservice equipment produced by NAFEM members is used by hotels, restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes across the U.S. to feed millions of people every day. Unfortunately, the 25 percent tariffs announced by the United States Trade Representative will make it more expensive to produce this important equipment, which could negatively impact U.S. jobs. The Chinese import tariffs are directly contrary to the Administration’s stated priority of increasing good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs. Smart, economically competitive sourcing from global suppliers, including those in China, allows NAFEM members to control costs, which protects and even expands U.S. jobs.”

It is important that elected officials also hear from U.S. companies impacted by these tariffs. To help members easily share this information, NAFEM has created an Advocacy Toolkit of talking points and email messages for members to use in their outreach efforts.

More tariff information is included in the NAFEM in action section below.