U.S. anti-tariff group, Americans for Free Trade has organized its first ‘town hall’ type meeting near Chicago. The group hopes to raise awareness over the issue of tariffs. It said tariffs are already hurting a host of businesses and, will only get worse.
CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.
Under the banner, ‘Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’, the group hopes the campaign will raise awareness around the issue of tariffs and how they can damage a broad range of businesses including manufacturing and farming.
“I think it is clear an impact is happening. Farmers are being squeezed, small business owners are being squeezed. There are not winners in a trade war. It is not good for China. It is not good for the United States and the longer a trade war goes on, the bigger the impact for both countries,” Brian Kuehl with ‘Farmers for Free Trade’ said.
Among the key speakers, Bob Jones who runs a company that specializes in outdoor leisure products. Although he supports international trade reform he does not feel tariffs are the answer.
“There’s a couple of major concerns. One, what is going to happen with prices. And we know that when there is a big increase in prices, that can really cool demand off. And people start pulling back. And that will slow the economy down and slow my business down,” Bob Jones, president of ‘American Sale’ said.
This first town hall event took place at a seafood processing facility. And company management here fear that tariffs could eventually lead to a slowdown in business and possible job losses.
“This is a tax. It will increase our costs. It will drive consumption of seafood down. If our overall demand decreases because our costs go up and we have less demand for our products then certainly we will have to lay people off,” Sean O’Scannlain, president & CEO of Fortune Fish Company of Chicago said.
Organizers said this meeting is just the first step in increasing awareness around tariffs.
And they said their support across the country is growing rapidly.