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WSJ: One Business has Filed 10,000 Appeals for China Tariff Exemptions

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Since President Trump initiated $200 billion worth of tariffs on imported Chinese goods, there have been 16,000 appeals for exemptions made by U.S. businesses, 10,000 of which were filed by a single company, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Minnesota-based Arrowhead Engineered Products Inc. imports aftermarket repair parts for a number of machines including lawn-mowers, cars and all terrain vehicles. It then resells the parts, originally from China, as a cheaper market alternative for manufacturers.

Arrowhead is concentrating on filing the appeals while putting “everything else on the back burner,” according to the company’s Chief Operating Officer John Mosunic.

The company, which has about 1,000 employees, contacted the offices of the local congressman, Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn.) to obtain advice on the best way to proceed with the appeals. The response they received was to be as specific as possible when drafting an appeal, so the company decided to file an appeal on every component and part it imports from China.

It is not clear if the strategy will be effective, and small businesses are having difficulty navigating the appeals process, according to experts cited by the Journal.

“If I had figured out the secret recipe that explains approvals, I’d be speaking from the beach,” said Ted Murphy, a partner at U.S. law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

Farmers are also bearing the brunt of the Chinese response to Trump’s tariffs, which include a ban on imports of American agricultural products.

The Trump administration is distributing aid to farmers affected by the ban, which up to now has cost taxpayers $28 billion, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Aid to farmers already stands at more than twice the amount used to bail out U.S. automakers in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Other companies cited in the article complained that tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese imports threaten their survival, as there were no viable alternatives to using Chinese-made products.

“The tariffs were an existential threat to our business,” said John Hoge, whose company Sea Eagle Boats Inc. produces inflatable kayaks and relies on certain components made in China.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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