August ’22 at-a-glance … taxes, tariffs & trade

NAFEM advocates for removal of tariffs with ITC

NAFEM delivered strong testimony on the negative economic impacts of Section 232 and 301 tariffs on members to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on July 21.

During his testimony, NAFEM Vice President, Regulatory & Technical Affairs Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, said, “It’s been a long four years (since the tariffs were initiated) for our member companies. Raising material costs for manufacturers make U.S.-manufactured products less competitive in the global marketplace … and our members are taking a severe economic hit.

“We believe these tariffs are directly contrary to the Administration’s promise of a ‘worker-centric’ trade policy. Instead, we advocate for trade policy that encourages smart, economically competitive sourcing from global suppliers, including those in China to control costs and protect and even expand U.S. jobs.”

Following this testimony, the ITC asked NAFEM to provide specific, confidential examples from member companies to best punctuate the challenges faced by U.S. businesses. Members shared information on the lack of critical metal inputs, price increased for these inputs, the difficulty with sourcing adjustment, and more appropriate trade remedies. This public version of the document redacts confidential business information. “We appreciate those members who shared this information with our legal counsel at Barnes & Thornburg to help shed light on the very real concerns the tariffs present to our industry,” said Souhrada.

According to Christine Henter-Sohar, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg, “We invite the Commission to contact NAFEM should the Commission have additional questions about the negative economic impact of the Section 232 and 301 tariffs, or other trade issues, on the U.S. foodservice equipment and supplies industry. NAFEM members have a wealth of industry knowledge and data and welcome the opportunity to continue to assist the Commission in its investigation.” 

The ITC initiated its investigation at the direction of Congress and will provide a final report by March 15, 2023.