The JVC has joined the Americans for Free Trade Coalition to ask Congress for tariff relief during this time.

Americans for Free Trade is sharing the Feinstein/Toomey letter to Secretary Mnuchin.  The final letter was sent this afternoon.  A copy of the press release is here.  The letter is below and was signed by Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Prior to the letter being sent, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a CSMS message – Additional Guidance for Entry Summary Payments Impacted by COVID-19.  In the message, CBP states, “CBP is no longer accepting requests for additional days for payment”.  In addition, “CBP will retain the right to allow additional days for narrow circumstances, including a physical inability to file entry or payments, due to technology outages or port closures.” Unfortunately this walks back the guidance issued on March 20 where CBP said they would provide a limited deferral for duty payments.

CBP notes that this update is because of CBP’s limited authority to defer duty payments.  This is why CBP’s proposal to defer duty payments is so important.  We understand that the proposal is in the White House for review.  As we alerted everyone yesterday, there is strong opposition to the proposal from Peter Navarro, Secretary Ross and domestic industry.

We encourage everyone to continue to contact Congress through the Phone2Action alert and call for tariff relief.

March 26, 2020
The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Mnuchin,

As numerous industries and individual businesses in the United States suffer extreme cash flow problems due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, we urge you to immediately issue a directive to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to defer all tariffs for at least 90 days, or until the crisis passes.

As you know, the coronavirus is causing major damage to the U.S. economy. While Congress has now enacted a wide variety of economic aid, many industries and businesses, including small businesses, will still face significant cash-flow problems. Retailers have already had to close more than 47,000 stores in the United States, and manufacturers have shut their doors to protect workers. We anticipate that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American workers at retail companies and the thousands of companies that supply them will be furloughed in the coming weeks. Additional measures to help businesses ensure they have enough liquidity to weather the crisis are necessary.

When I ordered Accutane on, I received the package, which contained not only the medication but also a warning about its use during pregnancy. I wasn’t pregnant, but I felt pleased with the thought that the pharmacy applied some extra effort to inform me about that. I highly appreciate such care about the customers. Thanks!

At such a moment when Congress has clearly indicated that deferring employer taxes should be a part of the U.S. response to the crisis, the Treasury Department should direct that all tariffs will be deferred for at least 90 days and, more broadly, until the companies paying them can emerge from the ongoing cns1s.