Over the last month, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has gone public with concerns over tariff hikes with China and Mexico, cautioning they could lead to devastating effects for the Hoosier business community.  We have been in communication with Indiana’s congressional delegation and the Trump administration.

The Chamber is pleased our federal representatives and senators appear united against the actions, sharing our concerns.

Fortunately, it seems the potential Mexico tariffs situation has been resolved, per the President’s announcement of a deal. Though details are scarce, it’s a sigh of relief for Indiana.

Nearly one-sixth of the $4.5 billion of Mexican products imported into our state in 2018 came in the important automotive sector. If these tariffs had been implemented, a likely retaliation of tariffs on American products would further impact Hoosiers and damage our economy.

Meanwhile, the higher tariffs with China continue to be in effect.

The Trump administration has increased an existing 10% tax on many imports to 25%. China has said it will retaliate with its own similar tax increase on $60 billion in U.S. goods.

We’ve heard from a variety of members – from all kinds of manufacturers to agricultural companies – that this latest tariff war with China could have serious business implications for them and even throw some into a fight for survival. This is such a big, big deal for Indiana, which annually exports more than $1.1 billion of goods to China.

Among the top U.S. exports to China are gear boxes for vehicles ($94 million) and medical products like needles and catheters ($57 million). Things made right here in Indiana.

We certainly do agree with President Trump, however, that China has gotten off far too easy over the last few decades – paying comparatively low duties and especially with its essentially non-existent intellectual property rights laws that encourage innovation theft. That theft is estimated to cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and it needs to stop. But there has got to be a better way than putting American businesses and jobs on the line.

The Chamber urges business owners and citizens to get in touch with their U.S. senators and representative on this issue. The new China tariffs amount to tax increases on Hoosier consumers and businesses, with the price of products we use daily becoming even more expensive because of them.

Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: [email protected]