Press Release | Trade · Better Pay and Benefits

Strategic Tariffs Against China Are Critical Part of Trade Reform to Create More Jobs and Better Pay

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement after President Donald Trump’s China enforcement announcement this afternoon:

For years, China has employed a variety of strategies to steal our intellectual property and bully its way into acquiring critical U.S. advances in technology. Discussions and strongly worded letters have not stopped the IP theft or unfair tactics. Tariffs, investment restrictions and a WTO case might. Tariffs aren’t an end goal, but an important tool to end trade practices that kill American jobs and drive down American pay. 

While we will be reviewing the full Section 301 report in the coming days to ensure these proposed tariffs appropriately target the industries that have lost production, wages and jobs to predatory intellectual property violations, we agree that now is the time to act. In coordination with allies and as part of comprehensive trade reform, these tariffs will put needed pressure on China to play fair.

In isolation, this enforcement effort won’t be enough to fulfill the president’s promise to boost manufacturing, stop outsourcing or raise wages. These actions must be combined with investments in our communities and working people, smart rules to prevent big banks from crashing our economy again, and renegotiated trade deals—starting with NAFTA—that end special privileges for global companies, protect worker freedoms, and promote a fair and sustainable economy for all of us.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018