Paper Says Tariffs, Labor Shortages and Shipping Problems are Hurting Economic Recovery

A coalition of four major manufacturing associations – the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) – are urging immediate action by the Biden administration to address supply chain challenges outlined in a newly released white paper.

The four-page paper follows a series of meetings among coalition members and administration staff centered around issues important to the coalition’s member companies, such as the Section 301 China tariffs, Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, supply chain concerns, labor shortages, increased costs for shipping containers and increased shipping times and semiconductor shortages. The paper explains how supply chain disruptions, which are compounded by trade distortions and the COVID-19 pandemic, are hurting the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and stalling the economic recovery. Combined with increased demand for appliances and equipment, supply chain bottlenecks have negative consequences, including increased costs, lost sales, delayed deliveries of critical products to consumers in the face of supply chain backlogs, and even shutting down manufacturing plants.

The paper acknowledges that many supply chain issues will require long-term solutions, but the coalition also requested immediate relief from policymakers through tariff removal and fair allocation of semiconductors to all industries. Quick implementation of these and other policy solutions outlined in the paper may help prevent a continued worsening of the availability of manufactured products in the United States, while increasing productivity and stemming product cost inflation.