Carper Statement on the Trump Administration’s Decision to Increase Tariffs and Escalate Trade War

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Trump Administration increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent.

“Over the last year, we have clearly seen that the effects of tariffs the Trump Administration has already imposed on global steel and aluminum imports and nearly half of all goods from China are being felt all across the country. While the President wages a senseless trade war, it is consumers, business owners, retailers, manufacturers, and farmers that are left hanging in the balance. Despite what the President may claim, trade wars are not easy to win, and they often can have devastating unintended consequences.

“The President’s tariffs have already threatened to hamper economic growth in our region. After all, shipments of steel and aluminum are the fourth largest import cargo arriving at the Port of Wilmington. Tariffs on these and other products put a strain on our state’s manufacturers and, subsequently, threaten jobs in our region and nationally. And it’s our farmers who have been the collateral damage in this shortsighted fight. The retaliatory tariffs that China placed on soybeans, for example, is making the hard work that our farmers do even more difficult. Since the President started his trade war, retaliation from our trading partners has made exports from Delaware $14.8 million more expensive for foreign buyers, which reduces our country’s competitiveness compared to more affordable exports from other countries. As a result, in just six months last year, the Delaware Department of Agriculture estimates that the First State lost at least $28 million in agricultural revenue. And now, despite these staggering costs, President Trump has gone even further, announcing another tariff increase that further threatens livelihoods and puts more American businesses and jobs on the line.

“Being tough on China is one thing, but a reckless trade war that negatively impacts American producers is not the way to go. With the President continuing to ramp up this trade war, I would urge the Senate to take up the bill I have authored with Senator Kaine (D-Va.) that would help to ensure that this Congress – and future Congresses – have a say in trade policy decisions that so directly affect small businesses, farmers, and families across the country. These tariffs are impacting so many Americans – regardless of what state they may live in or what their political affiliations might be. I’m hopeful that with senators from both sides of the aisle speaking up, we can make sure that further damage is not done and that we are putting our hard-working farmers, business owners, and manufacturers first.”