Tariffs: AAPA Calls for Container Crane Exemption


By The Maritime Executive 08-23-2018 08:57:06

In testimony on Friday, August 24, before the United States Trade Representative in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will urge the federal government to consider the negative impacts that tariffs would have on port and other trade-related American jobs nationwide.

In particular, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle proposes that the multi-million-dollar container cranes that U.S. ports have on order and are considering purchasing from Chinese factories (there are no American-made alternatives) be exempt from tariffs. “Several U.S. ports have Chinese cranes on order, with a cost of up to $14 million per crane. The 25 percent in additional tariff would cost each of these ports millions of dollars and reduce U.S. ports’ competitiveness with Canadian and Mexican ports vying for U.S. cargo.” 

He also calls for the exempting of cargo-handling yard equipment at ports that have Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes that are specifically referenced in the Section 301 tariffs expansion proposal.

Regarding trade, Nagle says the impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through American ports would be significant. “Including the additional $200 billion proposed, the total Section 301 tariffs on Chinese commodities and China’s retaliatory responses, to date, would cover 8.4 percent of trade through America’s ports by value.”

In California alone, the California Association of Port Authorities estimates the 301 tariffs and responses would impact as much as 20 percent of containerized cargo imported throughout the state, representing $63.6 billion of trade value. 

At $4.6 trillion a year, the value of cargo activities at America’s seaports are significant drivers of the U.S. economy, supporting more than 23 million American jobs and generating over $320 billion in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but one percent of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities.

Overall, more than 350 people are slated to testify during the six days of hearings.