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Shaheen Calls on SBA to Investigate Impact of Trump Tariffs on US Small Businesses

(Washington, DC) – On Friday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, sent a letter with Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to the Trump administration, calling on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy to conduct independent analyses on the impact of the Trump administration’s tariff policies on American small businesses.

The Senators wrote, “While there is no question that we must respond appropriately to ensure a level playing field for American businesses, we must do so in a way that is targeted and effective without putting American jobs at risk. Industry and independent analyses have found that the President’s tariffs will adversely impact employment and economic growth.”

The Senators continued, “The negative consequences of these tariffs can fall particularly hard on small businesses, who create two out of every three new jobs in the United States. When prices on their products go up, small businesses are less likely than their large competitors to be able to cut costs elsewhere.  Unlike large corporations, small businesses do not have the resources to navigate opaque and confusing exemptions processes for new tariffs. Small businesses are also particularly vulnerable to retaliatory tariffs, which can cut off markets that can be make-or-break for a small firm. In addition, even small businesses who do not engage directly in international trade could be hurt when their large customers lose major contracts as a result of retaliatory tariffs. All of these factors make our small businesses particularly vulnerable to the disruptive shocks of a trade war.”

The Senators closed their letter by urging the SBA’s Office of Advocacy to continue its role as an independent voice of small businesses on trade matters, and to provide both Congress and the Administration with an analysis on the impact of the new tariffs on American small businesses.

A member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and a former small business owner herself, Senator Shaheen has called on President Trump to reconsider his tariff plan and take into account the impact his policy will have on New Hampshire small businesses. Senator Shaheen has consistently fought on behalf of Granite State small businesses and to help owners capitalize on export opportunities. She previously authored legislation that would help small businesses sell their products overseas, and her amendment to a trade enforcement bill to boost exports by US small businesses was signed into law by President Obama in 2016. Shaheen was also the first New Hampshire Governor to lead trade missions outside of North America.

This week is National Small Business Week. The letter to the SBA Office of Advocacy be read in full here.