We’re reeling from President Trump’s announcement of new tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.
These tariffs aren’t quite as high as tariffs on the fashion industry, which can reach 32 percent on some products. However, we know these tariffs will be catastrophic for the U.S. economy and jobs. We’re not being partisan or subjective; it’s Trade Policy 101—and we can expect widespread net job loss in the United States as a result, according to early studies, not to mention regressive taxes on American consumers. This is not the way to support American companies and jobs, and definitely not the way to participate in the global economy.
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) strongly opposes tariffs, and other barriers to trade that ignore 21st-century supply chains and business operations. And we’re especially opposed to egregious tariff increases like those announced today, which are based not on fact, but on the fiction that imports harm domestic jobs. On the contrary, imports support high-quality jobs for Americans, help American businesses to grow and thrive, and encourage American companies to do good in other parts of the world, too.
While our members don’t import a lot of steel or aluminum, these tariffs could result in disastrous consequences for them. Already, the European Union is calling out a variety of industries—including iconic American denim and t-shirts—as potential targets for tariff increases of their own.
In 2018, and every year, USFIA supports fashion made possible by global trade, and the high-quality jobs in the industry made possible by global trade—design, marketing, logistics, compliance, and retail, to name a few. And today, we support all U.S. jobs and economic opportunities made possible by global trade—especially those using imported steel and aluminum.