HELENA– The Montana Chamber of Commerce is a long and strong advocate of international trade. Montanans are proud of the good and services we provide to the world.
Trade is good for Montana both in revenue and jobs. In 2016, the last full year of data available, our $1.4 billion in export sales supported over 12,000 jobs in the Treasure State. And that’s not even counting bulk wheat, tourism and even foreign students paying full tuition at our colleges.
So, recent developments in U.S. trade policy causes us concern. We need to be increasing free and fair trade, not starting trade wars. We’ve already seen the damage of former President Obama’s tariffs in the solar industry. We don’t need the impact to businesses and workers in the steel and aluminum industries that would be caused by President Trump’s tariffs.
The impacts obviously aren’t limited to just those industries. The precedence of this action may impact other industries, like agriculture, that will have difficulty affording the administration of tariffs across different countries. Trade retaliation alone would likely wipe out any perceived benefit of the new tariffs.
Montanans, and all Americans, have much to be proud of in the goods and services we produce. We also depend on exports from key trading partners to achieve predictability in our business climate and overall economy.
We applaud the congressional delegation from Montana for expressing their concerns about these tariffs and emphasizing free and fair trade for Montana businesses. Envision 2026, the ten-year strategic plan of the Montana Chamber, calls for reducing the cost of doing business in Montana. Productive, mutually beneficial trade relationships expand markets for Montana companies that utilize imports to meet growing demand.
We’ll discuss these issues and more during our International Trade Day in Missoula May 22. Not only will we offer training and resources to increase international trade, we’ll also recognize an outstanding “Exporter of the Year.”
For Immediate Release
March 13, 2018
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or [email protected]hamber.com