Trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says the tariffs enacted by President Donald Trump cost U.S. importers a record $6.8 billion in July. The vast majority were on Chinese goods, though the administration has imposed on other commodities as well.
“The unpredictable nature of the trade will keep businesses, at best, in wait-and-see mode,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist with Bank of America.
Before the trade war with China began, the organization says the U.S. was shipping $1.47 billion more in hardwoods overseas than American companies were importing, but that surplus shrank last year as the U.S. imposed double-digit tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.
The hardwood industry relies on a crop that can take 30 years to mature as opposed to a single growing season. Members of the Hardwood Federation, a Washington-based trade group representing the $210 billion industry, are eager for a trade agreement, though they believe it will still take considerable time to rebuild the ground they have lost in China.