Everyday Americans are paying the price as the prices of essentials and commodities continue to rise. After years of pandemic-related stagnation, runaway inflation has exacerbated the slump in the US economy. High interest rates are hurting American consumers and small businesses and policy makers need to act.
In March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that mid-Atlantic inflation rose 7.3% year-to-date. As a small business owner, I am well aware of how these price fluctuations are hurting the economy.
Stuyvesant Press Inc. in Irvington was founded in 1977. We are a printing business, helping customers across New Jersey tell their stories.
Being able to serve all our clients with quality work is important to us and we work hard to offer affordable options. threatening the model.
High prices affect all levels of the economy. Job opportunities are threatened as companies struggle with declining revenues. The pandemic has pushed New Jersey’s economy into recession, with the unemployment rate soaring to nearly his 16% in 2020. Higher cost raw materials lead to more expensive finished goods and services, putting a heavy burden on consumers. As a result, customers have limited their spending capacity and invested less in the economy. This is even worse news for struggling companies. We cannot afford an economic climate that threatens further fiscal contraction.
We continue to struggle with unsustainably high prices for wholesale paper as well as sourcing from trusted vendors. Also, the price of aluminum has skyrocketed, creating ripple effects for our business and the clients who rely on us to make their signs.
Since 2018, the price of aluminum has risen from $1,600 to over $3,000 per ton. Inflation limits the ability of customers to promote their message, which in turn threatens their business potential.
Reducing the price of aluminum by removing burdensome tariffs is a promising strategy to boost economic growth. Section 232 aluminum tariffs restrict domestic access to low-cost aluminum from foreign markets, contributing significantly to high market prices.
The New Jersey aluminum industry is very lucrative. Repealing Section 232 will help the sector grow. About $130.5 million in wages statewide comes from aluminum jobs. Key sectors across the state rely on aluminum, including manufacturing, which is the third largest sector in the state economy and generates more than $52 billion in GDP. Given the market importance of aluminum, the overall industry economic impact is about $1.9 billion.
In addition, eliminating Section 232 tariffs on aluminum imports would be an important step in promoting greater environmental stewardship. At Stuyvesant Press, we recycle nearly 100% of the paper we use and are committed to environmentally responsible practices. Most of the aluminum imported into the United States comes from coal-fired carbon-intensive smelters in China. Removing these tariffs would allow America to tap renewable hydropower from other countries to access cheaper and cleaner aluminum.
America’s businesses and consumers need lawmakers to deal with pressing economic conditions. Removing the Section 232 tariff on aluminum imports would be a prudent first step in alleviating mounting cost concerns for local family businesses like Stuyvesant Press.
Addressing these tariffs offers a promising economic solution to high inflation while opening access to cleaner and greener aluminum. In doing so, we can establish a path forward that will help New Jersey build a stronger economy for all its residents.