Trump May Have Accidentally Imposed 'Bible Tax' Through Sanctions On China, Say Christian Publishers
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Representatives for major American Bible publishers met with the U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping to apprise the Trump administration of potential effects on Bible manufacture in the US-China trade war.
Mark Schoenwald, President of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association CEO Stan Jantz, and Paul Hendrickson, general manager of Hendrickson Publishers testified in Washington before a panel of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), presenting evidence that Trump’s 25% tax on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China would affect Bible sales especially.
"There will be significant damage to Bible accessibility if Bibles and books are not excluded from the tariffs. Some believe such a tariff would place a practical limitation on religious freedom," Jantz’s statement read, highlighting the lack of infrastructure outside of China for printing the uniquely thin paper materials required for constructing a Bible.
As of the beginning of June, the US has penalized $250 billion of Chinese goods, with plans to place tariffs on $325 billion more if China does not begin to comply with the strictures of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement it entered into in 2001.
According to Jantz, 50% of Bibles printed by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) are printed in China.