PMI CEO Testifies on China Tariff Impacts

June 20, 2019

$300 billion of Chinese goods may impact plumbing manufacturers & consumers

Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI) CEO and Executive Director Kerry Stackpole testified before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) June 17.

According to a PMI news release, Stackpole presented on the negative effects that Section 301 Tariffs of up to 25% on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods may have on U.S. plumbing manufacturers, the economy and consumers.

Plumbing-related products and components are included, according to PMI. The most recent list includes toilets, sinks, shower heads, faucet handles and more.

“These additional proposed tariffs will cause disproportionate harm to U.S. economic interests and in particular, plumbing manufacturers, our workers, suppliers, distributors, retailers and American consumers,” Stackpole said in his testimony. “Our members estimate they will incur millions of dollars annually in added direct costs and expenses if the List 4 duties are implemented, not to mention the millions of dollars of lost sales resulting from increased prices on these products. These are real dollars that will no longer be reinvested back into their companies and workforce.”

Stackpole also said PMI shares the administration’s concern about China’s policies and practices that have harmed U.S. businesses. However, PMI believes the proposed imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports will not address the issues and will continue to invite Chinese retaliation.

PMI members, including LIXIL, Spectrum Brands, Moen Inc. and Water Pik Inc., also are scheduled to testify. Troy Benavidez is vice president of Corporate Affairs for American Standard, which is part of LIXIL Americas and a PMI member company. Benavidez testified on June 17 and expressed his company’s concern about how the tariffs may harm U.S. businesses and consumers.

“If plumbing products become more expensive and U.S. consumers reduce their purchases of these products and the plumbing services needed to install and maintain them, good paying careers in the plumbing trade will continue to decline,” Benavidez said.