Nov 20, 2018

Trade Probably Helped Make Your Thanksgiving Meal

Post by Freedom Partners

During Thanksgiving, we take time to recognize the things we appreciate most — friends, family, good health, the food on our tables. The holiday does center around large meals with loved ones, so it’s an important time of year for many in the food and beverage industry.

There’s a good chance that behind the dishes at your Thanksgiving table are supply chains manned by hardworking Americans.

The pecans in your pie, for example, likely came from a retailer who purchased them from a farmer — maybe there were more steps in between. That’s been the case for decades.

But this year especially, we should recognize how many Americans it takes to make a full Thanksgiving meal possible and the challenges they face in this current, unfriendly business environment.

What’s on Your Table?

Are any of these items on the menu for your Thanksgiving meal?

  • Cranberries
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Apples
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Beer

While these items can be produced domestically, they’re also part of a list of some $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that are subject to tariffs levied by the United States. That means these items are vulnerable to price hikes, because tariffs make them more expensive to import.

A recent report said the Trump administration had assessed $4.4 billion worth of duties on steel imports, aluminum imports, and a host of Chinese imports. Although importers are responsible for paying the tariffs, the consumer is often the one who ultimately foots the bill.

When the cost of doing business increases, that cost needs to be absorbed by the company, which often results in lost jobs, or is passed onto customers, which means higher retail prices.

In this way, tariffs are no different than a sales tax.

If it costs more for the American importer to get a delivery of apples from China, it’ll likely cost more for you to buy those apples and bake them into your family recipe.

Be Thankful for Trade

The American government should drop all tariffs. Then, trade partners could exchange goods on a level playing field, uninhibited by unfair policies.

On its list of things to be thankful for, America should include trade. Trade is what builds America. It has been a key element of our economy since the beginning, creating jobs, fueling businesses and allowing consumers to access a wide variety of quality goods at competitive prices.