The Chattanoogan: Alexander Encourages U.S. Trade Representative To Work Towards Zero Tariffs, Zero Barriers

Posted on October 22, 2019

Senator Lamar Alexander urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to update and improve the process for granting exclusions from tariffs on certain imported goods from China.
“As we have discussed, I believe that the Administration’s broad-based tariffs have had a negative impact on American companies, farmers and consumers. I strongly support the President’s long-term goal of ‘zero tariffs, zero barriers’ and believe we should continue working towards that end. The Administration is right to focus efforts on combating unfair trade practices by China, but while tariffs remain in place, there is a need to update and improve the current exclusion process and better inform businesses on how to respond appropriately and make the necessary adjustments,” Senator Alexander wrote in a letter to Ambassador Lighthizer on Monday.
“Several Tennessee companies have shared with me their frustrations about the lack of transparency and understanding of the exclusion process.

Many have altered supply chains, shifted production and taken steps to absorb the impact of these tariffs as best they can. However, a clear explanation of the exclusion process remains critical for businesses to receive much-needed relief on the products they import that are subject to tariffs. International trade is crucial to Tennessee’s industries, and we should be careful not to discourage investment and economic growth as it will negatively affect many American businesses. Specifically, Tennessee’s reliance on imports from China is higher than any other state, with 7.3 percent of the state’s gross domestic product consisting of Chinese imports.”
Text of the letter is available here.