Level the Playing Field & Eliminate Tariffs as Part of U.S.-China Negotiations

May 9, 2019

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) supports efforts to address China’s unfair economic practices which prevent many U.S. companies from competing on a level playing field and hurt U.S. workers. These unfair practices include forced technology transfer, cyber theft, intellectual property violations, subsidies, and more. We hope a final deal will resolve the structural issues that are at the core of the trade dispute with China and will fully protect American technology, innovation, and intellectual property.

PMI is also eager for a quick resolution that would remove the tariffs that the United States and China now impose on the bulk of products that move between our two economies, increasing costs for businesses and consumers. Dozens of plumbing-related products and components are included on the Section 301 List 3 and face a 10% tariff. Specifically, tariffs artificially raise the cost of domestic production, eliminate export markets for U.S. manufacturers and invite retaliatory tariffs on American-made products. To date, Americans have paid over $21 billion in taxes due to the imposition of new tariffs. These taxes and the uncertainty they’ve created have resulted in deferred investments and price increases to manufacturers and consumers.

Message to Congress

As trade negotiations between the United States and China enter their final stage, PMI urges the administration to finalize an agreement with China that resets U.S.-China trade relations by:

  • Leveling the playing field for U.S. manufacturers by concluding an enforceable, rules-based agreement to address China’s unfair and discriminatory trade practices that no longer put American technology, innovation and intellectual property at risk.
  • Fully and immediately removing the tariffs, including U.S. tariffs (Section 232 and Section 301) and China’s retaliatory tariffs as part of a final deal. The economic harm to American consumers, farmers and manufacturers will only worsen if the Trump Administration chooses to retain or add punitive tariffs against China.
  • Avoiding any enforcement mechanism that would trigger further tariffs. We agree that enforcement must be a part of a final deal, but we must have an enforcement mechanism that does not punish Americans for China’s unfair trade practices with more tariffs.

The administration should also continue to work with our allies to strengthen and sustain reforms in China to provide more stability for the American economy and to help American businesses compete fairly.

For further information, contact

Stephanie Salmon, PMI’s Federal Affairs Consultant