PPAI has joined a broad coalition of U.S. businesses, trade organizations and workers in advocating for amending the America COMPETES Act of 2022 to include language requiring the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to reinvigorate the exclusion process for products subject to additional tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

The group, Americans for Free Trade (AFT), laid out their support in a letter sent this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

A similar provision sought by AFT was included as part of Senate’s Trade Act of 2021 in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, with an overwhelmingly bipartisan 91-4 vote.

“While we continue calling for an end to the trade war and elimination of the additional tariffs on U.S. companies as well as China’s retaliatory tariffs, we believe reinstituting the section 301 exclusion process is critical to helping U.S. businesses,” the AFT says in the letter. “According to a recent Moody’s Investor Service Report, the tariffs ‘hit American businesses and consumers hardest,’ with China absorbing only 7.6 percent of the tariffs ‘while the rest of the tab was picked up by Americans.’ A new, transparent and fair exclusions process would help alleviate the economic burden on American businesses and consumers.”

Two currently proposed amendments—Amendments 14 and 98—to the bill would establish a process enabling a greater number of American businesses to apply for exclusions from the harmful tariffs that remain in place as part of the trade war with China.

As companies in the U.S. continue to recover from the global pandemic and operate in an inflationary economic environment, the AFT is calling upon the administration to resolve the ongoing trade war with China. To date, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has assessed over $123.5 billion dollars in tariffs from U.S. companies who import products from China. The AFT says, “These taxes increase the cost of doing business in the United States and place a financial burden on U.S. businesses—negatively impacting their ability to invest in their companies, hire more American workers and remain competitive globally.”