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Editorial: Congress needs to get involved in tariff matter |
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Editorial: Congress needs to get involved in tariff matter

| Tuesday, August 7, 2018 9:48 p.m.

As President Trump campaigned last week in Wilkes-Barre for Republican senatorial candidate Lou Barletta, his trade war already had begun to make collateral damage of many of the Pennsylvania workers whom he had claimed to champion.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, retaliatory tariffs by countries upon which Trump has imposed tariffs adversely could affect as many as 1.6 million jobs in Pennsylvania and diminish the state’s economic activity by $1.7 billion. Well, that’s better than Washington state, at least, where the chamber estimated that retaliatory tariffs could reduce economic activity by more than
$7 billion, due largely to the impact on the nation’s largest exporter in terms of dollars — Boeing.

Tariffs adversely impact workers of companies large and small. So far, 20,000 companies have sought waivers from import tariffs on steel and aluminum alone, and many companies have said that they are considering shifting at least some manufacturing abroad to avoid retaliatory tariffs on products assembled in the United States.

Thursday, the Commerce Department approved needless tariffs on Canadian paper products. Although those taxes are lower than originally projected, they still will have an adverse impact on newspapers and other publishers that employ about 700,000 people.

Tariffs are a long-discredited device from another time that no longer makes sense in an era where international trade applies to most consumer products and agricultural products. It’s time for Congress to reassert its authority over trade.

— The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre

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