Letter: GOP Leadership, Pro Business or Just Pro Trump?

Letter to the editor submitted by Marina Levine, Greenwich

There has been a lot of back and forth regarding the role of our representatives as related to the unconventional and often diabolical policies of the Trump administration.

It seems that no matter how crass the rhetoric, and how damaging the policy-push back from our local representation will simply not happen. For the sake of progress, let’s put issues associated with moral compasses, social and civil rights aside.

There are several major footwear companies in Greenwich. Marc Fisher, Vince Camuto, HH Brown and my company, Capsule Collective shoes.

We have seen our colleagues in other categories of fashion, such as handbags, immediately suffer from the onslaught of Chinese tariffs. Duties on our already taxed goods have increased from 8% to 18% and as of 2019 an immediately crippling sum of 25%.

Duties are meant to be protectionist, yet there has not been a shoe factory in the US that can produce the kinds of shoes that we all buy in probably 40 years. Footwear tariffs are looming for 2019 and we have no alternative footwear production, in the US, nor anywhere else that can meet production capacity. Even if there were to be, there is no way any person who makes less than 7 figures a year would be able to afford product at the current cost of production in the United States. Fashion is still a very manual process and it takes about 200 people to make a pair of shoes from the start until it ends up in a shoebox.

Additionally, even if you have product that will not be impacted by tariffs, the cost of freight has skyrocketed to account for what will be a reduction of goods moving back and forth.

These policies affect us. This hurts my business, a business that pays taxes here. Is it unheard of to ask my delegation to tell Washington that shortsighted fiscal policy hurt our constituents? Two years of deafening silence by our GOP leadership has lead me to conclude that they will never be pro business…they are simply pro Trump-for reasons that are very self serving-ultimately abdicating their responsibilities as public servants.

I will vote for Laura Kostin and Alex Bergstein as I know they will stand up for policy that will improve economic conditions for all companies in Connecticut, not just car washes.

Marina Levine

Note: The deadline for letters in support of candidates in the November 6, 2018 election is Monday, October 29, 2018.

Not all letters will be published. Instead we will select a sampling of letters.