AAPA warns over increased tariffs

Donald Trump President Donald Trump is threatening China with an additional 10% tariff. Image: The White House

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) said it is deeply concerned over the renewed threat of increased tariffs levied against China.

Writing on Twitter on 1 August, President Donald Trump criticized the Chinese government for not following through on trade agreements and threatened to retaliate in advance of upcoming talks with an additional 10% tariff on 1 September, said AAPA.

“AAPA is very concerned about the President’s renewed threat to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, and the expected actions that the Chinese government will make in retaliation,” said Susan Monteverde, AAPA’s vice president of government relations. “Among the biggest ticket items on the tariffs list are multi-million-dollar, ship-to-shore gantry cranes used by American ports to load and unload containers from today’s giant cargo ships. The President has the authority to de-list these cranes from the tariffs schedule and we urge him to it.”

On 21 June, AAPA president and CEO Kurt Nagle testified as part of a panel organised by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) about the significant consequences of expanded tariffs on ship-to-shore cranes.  He made the point that, at a cost of up to US$14m per crane, an additional 25% tariff, which the president had earlier threatened to impose, would significantly increase the cost of each crane and reduce the ability of ports to make other needed infrastructure investments to improve the supply chain. His testimony also expressed AAPA’s overall concerns about tariffs.

During those hearings, public port leaders for the Virginia Port Authority, Port Everglades and the Port of New Orleans also testified about the economic harm these recently-proposed Section 301 tariffs will bring to their state’s employers, workers and communities. Other U.S. seaports submitted similar written comments to the USTR.

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