Rafts of US tariffs spurs big increase in lobbying for exemptions
THE Sino-US trade war has sparked a surge in lobbying in Washington, DC, to soften tariffs, but the Trump Administration is proving lobby-resistant, reports Bloomberg
25 January 2019 - 19:00
Lobbyists are resorting to creative tactics such as running ads on 'Fox and Friends,' which President Trump watches.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) spent US$2.5 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter, up from $1.9 million during the previous three months, said NRF vice president David French.
US duties on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods - as well as the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaced the old North American Free Trade Agreement were targets of lobbying in the final three months of 2018, according to disclosure reports filed with Congress by Tuesday's deadline.
Some 341 reports for the fourth quarter that included 'tariff' as a specific lobbying issue, more than twice the number filed during the same period in 2017.
'Tariffs are a blunt instrument that harms American consumers and our economy,' said Consumer Technology Association vice president Michael Petricone.
While US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to freeze tariffs until March 1, companies continued to push for exemptions.
Targets of lobbying included the administration and Congress, though lobbyists have said the usual approaches have proven less effective with President Trump.
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