Tariffs could destroy American Dream for Pennsylvania entrepreneur

February 15, 2019

Local businesses across the country are bracing for what amounts to a major tax hike as tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods are set to rise from 10 to 25 percent on March 2 unless the United States and China negotiate a deal or extend trade talks.

For Sherrill Mosee, an entrepreneur who started Pennsylvania-based MinkeeBlue — a company that makes innovative bags that do triple duty as a purse, briefcase and suitcase — additional tariffs could destroy everything she’s worked hard to build. She simply cannot afford more tariffs.

Increasing tariffs to 25 percent would result in 1 million American job losses.

“It’s my American Dream to own my own business, and March 1 will tell if I have to shut everything down,” Mosee said during a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with her elected officials this month.

Mosee is one of 100 business owners and executives who traveled to Washington for the recent Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign fly-in. Together, the group held 150 meetings with congressional offices to express the urgency of reaching a positive resolution between the U.S. and China, taking additional tariffs off the table and ending existing tariffs that are taking a toll on local communities.

The stakes are high for the U.S. economy. During a press conference with bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland released a new study warning that increasing tariffs to 25 percent would result in 1 million American job losses, cost the average family of four $767 each year and reduce the dollar value of U.S. gross domestic product by 0.37 percent.

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A study by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland assesses effects of increased tariffs.

Read the study.

And if the trade situation really escalates? A full-blown trade war with tariffs on everything the U.S. imports from China — along with automobile tariffs and existing steel and aluminum tariffs — would destroy more than 2 million American jobs and reduce the dollar value of U.S. GDP by more than 1 percent. American families would foot the bill for the unfair trading practices of other countries and pay $2,389 more for goods and services each year, erasing the estimated tax reform savings of $1,336 per taxpayer. 

To be clear, achieving better trade deals is a valid goal. But American small businesses like MinkeeBlue shouldn’t be caught in the crosshairs. As trade talks continue, the administration must protect the American Dream for hardworking entrepreneurs like Mosee and focus on more negotiations, not more tariffs.