How do you bring American manufacturing to an industry that could be destoryed by government over-regulation in the next four years?
In a nut shell with out regulatory reform you don’t.
That was the exact message American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley along with five other harm reduction advocates brought to Washington D.C. on July 24, 2018, when a public hearing was held before the Section 301 Committee of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on President Donald Trump’s second set of proposed tariffs on a variety of products imported into the U.S. from China.
Vaping advocates had breathed a sigh of relief when the first round of President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made products did not impact vaping products. However, the trade war between the United States. and China has not less active. Since then between June and July, President Trump announced a second and third round of tariffs. This third round of tarriffs do contain provisions that would make it more expensive for adult smokers to switch to vaping.
President Trump’s proposed tariffs will result in all e-cigarette devices and parts (likely pods, tanks, coils, cartridges, batteries made for usage in vaping products, etc.) imported from China being subject to a tariff of 25% (or, more accurately, an import tax of 25%). The costs of this tax will inevitably be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices thus reducing vape sales and possibly forcing many vapers to return to smoking.
At this particular hearing, the committee heard over thirty minutes of testimony from six harm reduction and industry advocates about the severe harm to small businesses and public health that would import tax of 25% hikes ( import tax of 25%).
Those giving testimony were Arnaud Dumas de Rauly (Blinc Group), Brittani Cushman (Vapor Technology Association), Carrie Wade (R Street Institute), Guy Bentley (Reason Foundation), Gregory Conley (American Vaping Association), and Tracy Musgrove(vape shop owner — Revolutionary Vapes in Williamsburg, VA).
Their testimony focused upon three key points.
- Vaping products have been proven to be far less hazardous than smoking and helping smokers acctually quit smoking. Price hikes at the retail level will prevent current smokers from switching. to a safer alternative.
- There is a great need for clarity about exactly what products will be subject to this tariff. (This point is now less critical since the Trump Administration announced that it would also be seeking to subject a blanket tarriff upon e-cigarette parts to the 25% tariff hike, rather than the 10% rate originally proposed.)
- FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has thus far failed to enact any real regulatory reform at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The vaping industry is not only banned from introducing new products, but also facing near-extinction in August of 2022 because of extensive and enormously expensive regulatory requirements which hurts technology and innovation. There is very little chance that American manufacturers would be able to attract the tens of millions of dollars in capital investments that would be required to domestically produce significant quantities of vaping devices with advances in technology stifling jobs.
President Trump daily braggs about how he has created more jobs faster then any president of the United States, yet he has left the vaping industry out in the cold which will effect thousands of American jobs which are now in jeopardy.