Depending on your source, definitions of the word tariff vary, but virtually all of them include the word “tax” or “duty.” Most etymologists say the word comes from the Italian tariffa, or “list of prices, book of rates,” derived in turn from the Arabic ta’rif, meaning “making known” or “to define.” For convenience sake we will go with Wikipedia’s simple definition: “A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states.”
Ongoing trade discussions between the U.S. and China were high in the news cycle in March. The economic relationship between China and the U.S., which has expanded enormously during the last few decades, has been one filled with tensions, allegations of currency manipulation, outright theft of intellectual property (IP) and other speed bumps in the highway of trade between the two countries.
The Forging Industry Association (FIA) announced a new partnership with Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas (MCRT), a bipartisan government-affairs consultancy. MCRT helps its clients develop winning strategies by educating and building relationships with key policymakers in Congress, the White House, government agencies and regulatory bodies. As FIA’s new lobby firm, they will work with the association to facilitate and advance its advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. They will also help coordinate FIA Lobby Day, an annual event that offers FIA members an opportunity to meet with key members of the U.S. House and Senate.
The 116th U.S. Congress commenced chaotically on Jan. 3, with Democrats taking control of the House for the first time since 2010, Republicans retaining the Senate and a partial shutdown of the U.S. government in full swing.
In late September, trade representatives from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. reached an agreement to replace NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was negotiated by the Clinton administration.
John Peter Zenger was a New York journalist who, in 1733, voiced his disagreement with the Crown’s governor in New York, William Cosby, who replaced a disagreeable judge with a more agreeable jurist. Zenger’s paper, the New York Weekly Journal, wrote articles critical of the royal governor, who in turn criticized the paper for its “divers scandalous, virulent, false and seditious reflections.”
Tariffs on top of tariffs, as far as the eye can see. Trade policy in Washington has been turned on its head, and organizations like FIA are working overtime to ensure that their members’ voices are heard. That’s not always easy in this environment, but it’s critical.