AAPA urges Chinese crane tariff exemptions

Kurt Nagle Kurt Nagle: “The impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through American ports would be significant." Credit: AAPA

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is set to request that the multi-million-dollar container cranes that US ports have on order and are considering purchasing from Chinese factories, in which there are no American-made alternatives, be exempt from proposed tariffs.

Due to testify before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) during its ‘Section 301’ tariff hearings this month, AAPA president and CEO Kurt Nagle will make the request as part of a wider AAPA plan to urge the federal government to consider the negative impacts that burdensome tariffs would have on ports, including imports, exports and jobs, plus the effects of likely retaliatory responses.

“The impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through American ports would be significant,” said Mr Nagle. “Including the additional $200 billion proposed, the total Section 301 tariffs on Chinese commodities and China’s retaliatory responses, to date, would cover 8.4 percent of trade through America’s ports by value.”

Mr Nagle will also request that USTR exempt cargo-handling yard equipment at ports that have Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes that are specifically referenced in the Section 301 tariffs expansion proposal.

At US$4.6 trillion a year, the value of cargo activities at America’s seaports are significant drivers of the US economy, supporting more than 23m American jobs and generating over US$320bn in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but 1% of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities.

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