SBE Council Submits Comments to USTR Urging Reconsideration of Proposed China Tariffs

By at 17 June, 2019, 3:38 pm



Washington, D.C. –Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the proposed changes to the Section 301 tariffs on China. In the comments, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan urged the Trump Administration to reconsider imposing additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Small and medium-sized businesses dominate trade with China, and are intricately tied to the global economy in many other ways. Higher and more widespread tariffs will continue to eat away at the competitiveness of small businesses and the survivability of firms in key sectors, according to Kerrigan’s comments.

The comments expressed concerned that the new round of tariffs on approximately $300 billion worth of goods from China will negatively impact a wide range of small businesses across the country, imposing new costs and making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed and grow their businesses. 

“Since China acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2001, exports of U.S. goods to China have grown by nearly 600 percent while imports of Chinese-made goods grew by almost 400 percent. This is good for both U.S. small and large businesses alike. In 2017, more than half of U.S. exporters to China had fewer than 20 workers, 68.7 percent fewer than 50 workers, and 78.4 percent had fewer than 100 workers. The numbers are similar on the import side,” said Kerrigan.

She added: “Yes, China is stealing American IP, which financially harms our small businesses. But making U.S. companies pay twice only erodes U.S. competitiveness and the economy. We believe pressure can be applied more effectively by working with our international allies and the WTO, and accelerating other Trump Administration initiatives, like reforms to the Universal Postal Union and pushing China to use advanced electronic data, which they are refusing to do. America’s small businesses remain generally confident and we cannot allow China’s bad behavior to impact our economy’s strength. The real costs of the tariffs and added uncertainty about what the end game is regarding the trade battle undermines U.S. business strength and investment.”

As noted within the comments, the new round of tariffs will cost an estimated $831 per American household, an increase from $414, the cost of the first round of tariffs last year. Read the comments in full here.


Karen Kerrigan, e-mail:

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil


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