Letter to the editor: Proposals would harm small business

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

I’m a small business owner, and to say the last few years have been a challenge is putting it mildly.

I’ve navigated COVID-19, supply chain woes and the economic inflation rollercoaster. 

Now, I’m reading that Congress may change a customs rule that could severely impact my ability to service my customers efficiently.

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The Import Security and Fairness Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and the De Minimis Reciprocity Act co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, both threaten to alter a rule that provides an exception for all shipments into the U.S. valued below the $800 threshold. 

For small business owners like me who don’t have time to navigate bureaucratic red tape or the capital to pay extra taxes on foreign imports, de minimis is a crucial part of our operations. 

Lower production costs for sellers means more savings for customers and allows sellers like me to compete with big retailers who own their own production facilities.

If Congress wants to improve trade policies, it needs to do so with small businesses in mind. Removing de minimis would crank up production costs for entrepreneurs like me, raise the price of goods, and drive consumers away to Big Box stores. 

Congress should leave de minimis as is and focus on policies that will make operating easier.

Steve Sydow