As he visits Texas next week, President Trump should listen to the Texans bearing the costs of the trade war
DALLAS, Texas – A group of Texas-based businesses and farmers joined Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs, at a town hall today to unveil the latest economic data showing how tariffs are directly impacting the Texas economy. The statistics, which were compiled by The Trade Partnership, revealed that tariffs cost Texas businesses $424 million in the month of August alone. This represents a 163 percent increase in tariff-related costs compared to this point last year, even though the value of exports increased just 30 percent. These costs are borne directly by the hardworking Texans that the administration promised to protect.
Total Tariffs Paid by Texas Businesses Per Month
At the Texas Ale Project in Dallas, local business owners and farmers discussed how these tariffs are making it harder for them to compete and make a living. “Right now Texas Ale Project is concerned about the supply levels and pricing of aluminum cans and lids for our canned beers,” said Kat Thompson, CEO of Texas Ale Project. “Normally we order with a 3-week lead time on receiving the lids; however, just recently our supplier informed us this has jumped to a 12-14 week lead time. We were told the large beverage manufacturers were buying up their supplies of aluminum lids, which the supplier attributed to an anticipation of cost increases due to the steel and aluminum tariffs.”
Tiffany Williams, who owns the Luggage Shop of Lubbock, said that tariffs are affecting her local business too. “Unfortunately, the current tariff list impacts around 85 percent of the products we sell in our store, including all luggage, briefcases, backpacks and most travel accessories. Many of our primary vendors have already announced immediate price increases that are having a negative impact on our October business.”
Scott Frazier, a south Texas farmer and Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas Farm Bureau, warned that tariffs will have long-term consequences for agriculture by shuttering the foreign markets that farmers in Texas and across the country depend on: “One quarter of our agricultural products grown in the U.S. are exported to other countries. The economic well-being of American agriculture depends on maintaining and strengthening our export markets, and farm and ranch families depend on this to survive.”
With President Trump slated to visit Houston next week, Tiffany Melvin, President of the North American Strategy for Competitiveness, stressed that policymakers should heed the advice of her fellow panelists: “Town hall meetings like these give us an opportunity to come together to discuss critical issues and solutions, and to join forces to communicate the important positive messages of free trade. Hopefully, we will help people understand that tariffs hurt everyone.”
As the nation’s leading exporter, Texas faces increased risk of long-term damage because of tariffs, warned John Gonzales of the US Chamber of Commerce: “Because of retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU, Canada and Mexico, $13 billion worth of ‘Made in Texas’ products and over 3 million jobs are at stake. The U.S. needs free and fair trade, but imposing tariffs to get there is the wrong approach.”
The town hall meeting also included the owner of a Texas brewery and other local voices and experts who discussed how these tariffs are impacting their consumers; their ability to invest in their businesses and farms; their exports; and the impact on jobs and hiring.
Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign recently released an interactive, searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.