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Americans thrive when the United States embraces free trade.
Trade creates prosperity by promoting the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services.
By expanding the variety of goods and services available to American consumers, trade increases choices in the marketplace, fostering more competition and innovation and lowering costs.
More trade leads to greater business growth, new jobs and bigger paychecks for everyday Americans and their families.
The Problem with Tariffs
While trade opens doors to opportunity for the American people, tariffs close them.
Tariffs hurt workers, consumers and businesses by driving up costs – on everything from clothing to groceries to raw materials used to make household products and technology, to imported final products from televisions and washers to cars and airplanes.
Tariffs will especially hurt lower-income Americans, who are least able to bear the burden of higher prices. Trade barriers ultimately limit choices, shrink opportunities and stifle economic growth.
AFP’s Efforts to Promote Trade
Americans for Prosperity recently joined Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and The LIBRE Initiative in opposing tariffs and other barriers to trade through a multi-year, multimillion-dollar campaign. The initiative is designed to transform the way Americans think about trade with other nations.
AFP President Tim Phillips underscored the need for more trade and the existing problems with tariffs, stating:
The Trump administration has taken some incredibly positive steps for the American economy, but tariffs will undercut that progress and needlessly hamstring our full economic potential. There are better ways to negotiate trade deals than by punishing American consumers and businesses with higher costs. Instead of pursuing protectionist policies that we already know don’t work, let’s help everyone win by expanding trade, opening new markets and lowering costs.
This president has demonstrated strong leadership in his effort to provide the American people with the most substantial tax relief this nation has seen in decades. These tariffs amount to self-imposed barriers to the success of tax reform and we urge the administration to reconsider.
Principles for Trade Negotiations
As Congress and the administration consider trade negotiations going forward, officials should consider a handful of guidelines to champion the benefits of trade and discourage tariffs and other barriers.
These guidelines include:
Recommendations for the president include reducing or eliminating trade barriers through international agreements, including:
Lawmakers should focus on embracing trade and its many benefits when conducting negotiations in the future.
Our elected officials must put the American people first by eliminating trade barriers rather than erecting them.