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Dear President Trump | Followup

December 3, 2019

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Dear President Trump:

This is an update from my letter last year dated September 12th, 2018. See my updated comments in RED!

First of all, I voted for you and I believe in your policies and their intended desired results. But your actions over the last year put my current 2020 vote up for grabs.

Second, I am an American manufacturing small business being adversely impacted since the July 6th , 2018 Section 301 tariffs went into effect. I am bleeding profits and now may be forced to reduce my workforce (losing 21 good paying USA jobs) given 1/3 of my material comes from US based companies with factories in China.  I assemble, produce and sell Military/Aerospace/Medical & Industrial electronic connectors to customers all throughout the U.S.  I (like many Americans) have enjoyed begun to enjoy the fruits of our strengthening economy, but still now everything is changing for the worse, and I know I am not alone.  The tariffs are beginning to hurting workers in China, but likely an equal number of workers here, and I assume that is NOT your intended target.

Importantly, I am not here to offer problems with no solutions, but rather I have a few suggestions that you may take up with your team.  After you review them, make them better, you can bask in the glory of helping U.S. businesses dodge the unintended effect of Section 301’s harsh penalties for companies like me that buy American, but are currently paying the COO China penalties imposed.

So, here are suggestions to mitigate tariffs on small USA manufacturers:

  1. For small businesses that can demonstrate financial woes brought on by the tariffs, who have 100% USA manufacturing footprint in the states and 100% of legal workers/citizens employed, they can apply for immediate exclusions from tariffs for at least 90 days to defer any duty payments to US Customs.  You can review the request for exclusion(s) and if certain criteria are not met, they go back into effect.
  2. Offer emergency SBA loans with short approval cycles to help small businesses with cash flow affected by the tariffs.
  3. For small businesses buying from American owned companies’ material that was COO China, cut the VALUE of material by 50% so the tariffs go to 50%, this can at least ease the cost burden on companies like ECCO until we can find ways to source elsewhere.

Those are just a few to contemplate, but without some relief, many of us will go out of business before we can find alternative supply countries that are not part of the Section 301 tariff charges. While we can lobby for our parts suppliers to change COO China to elsewhere, we cannot dictate it nor manage their timeline. As an update, like many of my electronic parts suppliers, ECCO has adjusted our supply chain and workforce to employ less American Assemblers in favor of Mexico, Taiwan, etc; facilities that are not tariffed at the levels of China at this time. Your policy actually forced us to lose American Manufacturing presence!

Without your attention to this matter, you may lose a part of your core that supports you today, pays taxes, employs other Americans, and contributes to the economy in a big way. As a reminder, you did not win 2016 by a wide margin and in swing states like OH, WI, etc. where ECCO does much of our business, my business colleagues are having similar concerns about your approach on these Section 301 tariffs and that policy’s effect on small business.

While I may not reside in one of your favorite cities (Chicago) or states (Illinois) I am literally a stone’s throw from the end of Midway Airport’s Runway 4R and would welcome a visit by you or your staff whenever you are traveling through or over our fine city.  We could conduct a press conference and announce the “Small Business Tariff Relief Plan” to Rahm Emanuel’s disgust, 😉. Now, Lori Lightfoot is our mayor-but you never took me up on any of my suggestions, so assuming you would not on this one either.

Seriously, keep us entrepreneur’s and hardworking businessmen “in business” well into 2020!

We need each other.  Now that I have found ways to mitigate your small business penalty, I am confident you need me and my voting influence as much as I still need you and your more additive economic policies.  LET’S WORK TOGETHER!


Bernard J Gizzi



Electronic Connector Company (ECCO)

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