American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) President and CEO Kevin M. Burke released the following statement after the decision by the Obama Administration to impose tariffs on imported tires from China.
‘With the US economy on the verge of recovery, we strongly urge our leadership to follow through on G-8 commitments to not erect protectionist barriers that would open the door for larger trade frictions and, more importantly, put our economic recovery in peril.
‘Although we expected the Obama Administration to pursue tough enforcement of current trade laws, placing tariffs on imported tires from China will likely lead to inquiries about other imported goods, including textile and apparel products.
‘While it should be politically difficult for any group to even ask for new import taxes on clothing, or any other life necessity, bought by hardworking families during these trying economic times, we are also confident that such a petition would not factually substantiate the need for tariffs on clothing.
‘However, we are concerned that the affirmative decision on tires raises political expectations that additional protectionist measures on these and other products could be easily granted which could result in an international trade war and jeopardize our economic recovery. As we are already seeing with this case, and with earlier episodes involving Mexican trucking, protectionist measures by the United States often trigger retaliation from trading partners. In fact, China has already indicated they will retaliate against the United States for this decision.
‘The United States should lead by example. ‘By limiting how we apply the safeguard measures that were put into place upon China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, we will signal to our international trading partners that the United States remains open for business.’ (AAFA)