Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Sends Ways and Means Committee Over 500 Stories of Tariff Pain Ahead of Lighthizer Hearing

VIEW THE DATABASE OF OVER 500 STORIES AT: https://tariffshurt.com/tariff-story-database/

(WASHINGTON) – Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the nationwide campaign opposing tariffs supported by over 150 trade associations from every industry, today sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee along with over 500 stories of how tariffs are hurting Americans ahead of United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s scheduled testimony before the committee next week. The stories, which the campaign has been collecting since the start of the trade war, come from congressional districts and states in every corner of the country and reinforce that fact that Americans, not foreign countries, are paying the price for tariffs.

In the letter addressed to committee leaders, the campaign outlined its desire to share the stories ahead of the hearing and for members of Congress to use them to help reiterate the pain tariffs are causing in communities across the country. 

“The stories we are sharing serve first as a testament to why, despite broad agreement on curbing harmful trade practices, tariffs are not the answer,” the letter said. “They show that Americans, not foreign countries, are the ones paying the heaviest burden for the trade war. Whether it’s a soybean farmer in Louisiana, a worker at a Missouri factory or a startup tech company, these stories shows that tariffs are paid by American companies and workers.”

Earlier this month, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland brought over 100 businesses, farmers and executives to Capitol Hill to meet with over 150 lawmakers in an effort to increase pressure to beat back tariffs. Among the over 500 stories the campaign has shared is the story of Cribs for Kids, a non-profit in Pittsburgh that has been forced to cut back on cribs they provide to low-income moms because of tariffs. The story was recently featured in a Tariffs Hurt the Heartland digital ad.

The over 500 stories that the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign released today can be found at: https://tariffshurt.com/tariff-story-database/

The full text of the letter sent to congressional trade leaders follows:

Dear Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady:

With less than two weeks before the self-imposed deadline the Trump administration established to raise tariffs on $200 billion in goods to 25 percent if a deal is not reached with China, our coalition is working to ensure that members of Congress understand what’s at stake in their districts back home.

Earlier this month, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland released a report that showed how nearly one million jobs nationwide and thousands in every state would be lost if tariffs are raised on March 2nd. We have also released new data every single month through our Tariff Tracker showing that tariffs are taxes on imports paid by U.S. companies with retaliation causing U.S. exports to rapidly decline in every state. We hope that you and the members of the Committee can utilize these statistics during upcoming hearings, including your March 27 hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

However, we know that for members of Congress, making the case to the administration that tariffs harm your constituents requires more than data alone. You also need stories that illustrate the human and economic impact experienced by your constituents.

To that end, today we are sharing a database of over 500 stories we have been tracking since the trade war began that show how individuals and businesses have been or will be harmed by tariffs. These are stories told by your constituents American manufacturers, farmers, retailers, consumers, and small businesses. The stories have been captured by local and national press as well as by our own staff as we traveled the country hosting town-hall meetings. They show the breadth of negative impacts across communities, regions and industries and highlight job losses, deferred investments, disrupted supply chains, lost profits, and lost export markets as a result of the trade war.

The stories we are sharing serve first as a testament to why, despite broad agreement on curbing harmful trade practices, tariffs are not the answer. That’s primarily because they show that Americans, not foreign countries, are paying the heaviest burden for the trade war. Whether it’s a soybean farmer in Louisiana, a worker at a Missouri factory, or a startup tech company, these stories shows that tariffs are paid by American companies and workers through lost sales, lost wages, lost jobs, lost markets, and higher prices.

Second, these stories remind us that in many cases the tariffs have done irreparable harm. Farmers have lost profits they’ll never get back, businesses have seen foreign buyers move away from the U.S., and jobs have been eliminated. Regardless of whether negotiations in Washington D.C. or Beijing reach a negotiated outcome, the damage to Main Street America has already been done. This should serve as call to all members of Congress to prevent the use of tariffs in the future as a device to extract concessions from our trading partners. While we should continue to hold trading partners accountable and seek the best deals going forward, taxing Americans is not the means to do so.

Finally, the Americans telling these stories illustrate the urgency of reaching an agreement and eliminating all of the tariffs that have been imposed. While we are pleased that the President has indicated optimism around reaching a deal, the stories from existing tariffs continue to mount each day they remain in place. It’s time to reach a deal that takes tariff increases off the table for good, ends the threat of new tariffs, and finally brings an end to the crippling tariffs and retaliation that US businesses, farmers and manufacturers are facing right now.

We urge you to share the database with members of your committee and your entire caucuses. The more members of Congress who cite these and other stories in the Senate and House chamber and in their interactions with the administration, the more we can spread the message that tariffs are taxing Americans. We have also posted all of the stories we are sharing to our website where they can be accessed at: https://tariffshurt.com/tariff-story-database/

Sincerely,

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland 

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