State farmers and exporters have also faced over $100 million in retaliatory tariffs
SEATTLE, WA – Representatives from Washington’s agriculture, small business and global trade sectors joined Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, at a town hall today to unveil new economic data detailing the impact of tariffs on the state’s economy. The data, compiled by the Trade Partnership, shows that tariffs cost Washington businesses an added $100 million since new tariffs were imposed this year. The data also shows that Washington exports have been subject to another $103 million in retaliatory tariffs thanks to ongoing trade disputes. These costs fall squarely on the backs of farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, major employers and workers.
The town hall meeting featured panelists representing numerous critical sectors of Washington’s economy, including agriculture and produce, small business, retail, exports and the Port of Seattle.
“The loss our farmers will experience from these trade wars will have long-term implications,” said Seven Seas Export CEO, Sam Cho. “Trade is not a switch you can turn on and off. Once you lose business, it is extremely difficult to get it back. Even in the best case scenario where this Administration negotiates favorable trade terms, the damage is already done. Buyers of American goods will have already diverted and source from other countries.”
“The timing of tariffs do not allow adequate time to adjust for increased costs. Consumers in our industry will find price increases difficult to absorb,” said Adrian Taylor, Owner of Ben Franklin Crafts in Bonney Lake, WA.
“The Port of Seattle’s airport and seaport gateway are not only used by local businesses and consumers, but are also truly national assets that benefit stakeholders throughout the country,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “For example, more than 60% of the goods imported through the Northwest Seaport Alliance – our marine cargo partnership with the Port of Tacoma – are destined for parts of the country outside the Pacific Northwest, and while businesses from almost every single state in the country use our facilities to access foreign markets. While there are justifiable concerns about the trade practices of countries like China, we continue to believe that productive engagement and negotiations are the best path to ensuring a fair and level playing field for mutually beneficial trade. Instead, we are dealing with the impact of these increased tariffs, which now impact 25% of our overall two-way trade flows and are threatening as many as 7,500 Port-related jobs.”
“Forty percent of all jobs in Washington State are trade-related,” said Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade. “The trade war inflicts disproportionate harm on Washington’s workers, businesses, and communities. The current tariff-first approach to trade policy has done little more than invite retribution and hinder needed cooperation. This is not the way to do business for Washington state.”