Tariff Impacts

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 28, 2018
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CLEAVER. Mr. Speaker, recently, I spent time listening to farmers, large manufacturers, and leaders of smaller companies in my district express their frustrations on how tariffs are affecting their bottom line.

I visited a steel fabrication company, an architectural aluminum design company, and a brewery. Although these companies vary in product, they all shared one common fear: wondering what would be their fate in the presence of these ill-advised tariffs.

I listened to farmers offer feedback on how they are affected. Agriculture is one of Missouri's top industries, bringing in about $88 billion a year. Most farmers tell me that the recently announced USDA payments are helpful, but that, ultimately, in their words, ``we want trade, not aid.''

I met with local chambers of commerce and business councils, and, for those I didn't even have a chance to visit, I created a survey on my website. What I learned is this: These tariffs are deeply damaging to these businesses in ways that those who promoted them perhaps never even contemplated.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs may be in jeopardy because of these tariffs. For example, Harley-Davidson, a company that I was able to bring to Kansas City during my term as mayor, suddenly announced that they were closing the plant and moving overseas. They left nearly 1,000 workers unemployed overnight. Now, just imagine, if you multiply that around the country, what kind of instability has been created.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that this administration will recognize that these tariffs are unstable to the community and then move to end this trade war today.