Americans for Free Trade is a coalition of trade organizations from many sectors of the U.S. economy, which launched a mutli-million dollar campaign in 2018 lobbying against the ongoing tariffs put in place by the Trump administration on many products shipped from overseas.
The letter, addressed to Trump, commends a recent announcement, signifying that some, but not all, companies will be able to delay the payment of import fees that were due during the first half of March and April. AFT requests that this program become applicable to companies that are currently excluded, and that these companies be allowed to delay payments due from the months of May and June, as well.
“While we understand the need to keep strong U.S. trade policies front and center, merely delaying the payment of these additional duties will not harm trade policy. The duties will still be paid, just at a later date,” the letter reads. “It is with this in mind that we make two urgent recommendations. First, we ask that you extend the program to cover imports made during May and June. Second, we urge that the program be expanded to defer the due dates for all duties and fees. Combined, these two actions would immediately free up billions of dollars of working capital for American companies – like those listed below – to pay suppliers, employees, service providers, and other critical stakeholders. This cash is even more important for companies that have had to close their doors because of stay-at-home orders, leaving htem with little to no revenue to make ends meet.”
The letter also emphasizes that companies will especially need the liquidity as stay-at-home orders gradually get lifted in various regions of the country, and economic activity begins to bolster.
A total of 475 entities, made up of companies and trade associations representing manufacturing, retail, farmers, ranches, and other service providers, have signed the AFT letter.