Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement on the recently announced truce between the United States and China on tariffs:
“We hope this builds momentum towards further reasonable agreements to reduce these taxes on Americans and better promote free trade,” says Dennis Slater, President of AEM. “However, the decision also risks extending rather than ending the ongoing uncertainty supplied by the tariffs, creating an unpredictable business environment threatening many of our industry’s 1.3 million jobs."
Equipment manufacturing company executives have regularly spoken out in response to the Trump administration’s trade policies throughout 2018. Currently, with tariffs on $250 billion on Chinese goods now in place, the Trump Administration has imposed tariffs on about half of the total amount of goods imported into the U.S. from China last year. However, the agreement between President Trump and China President Xi Jinping does not remove these tariffs but just delays a possible decision to extend and increase tariffs on additional goods imported into the U.S.
The ongoing trade war has hurt the profits of many equipment manufacturers, threatening many of the 1.3 million good-paying jobs the industry supports. The tariffs have also had negative impact on U.S. farmers and ranchers, at a time when many are struggling due to a multi-year slump in income.