China tariffs may result in a crippling ‘Bible tax,’ publishers warn

The proposed tariffs on $300 billion-worth of Chinese imports may have an unintended consequence. A feared scarcity of Bibles and kids’s books will make the studying of Christianity’s holy textual content and different reads costlier.

Book publishers say that new levies the Trump administration has threatened to slap on Chinese items may quantity to ‘a Bible tax’, in keeping with Bloomberg. The drawback is that the tariffs would goal books and different printed supplies, together with Bibles, that are predominantly printed in China, as a result of particular printing know-how, paper and expertise wanted for his or her manufacturing.

This is how the Bible may fall sufferer to the continued commerce conflict between the world’s two largest economies, heads of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) and HarperCollins Christian Publishing identified at a panel listening to with the US International Trade Commission.

“We imagine the Administration was unaware of the potential unfavourable influence these proposed tariffs would have on the publishing trade typically, and that it by no means meant to impose a ‘Bible Tax’ on shoppers and spiritual organizations,” CEO of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Mark Schoenwald said, as cited by RNS. 

The additional escalation of the tariff conflict may hurt the Christian bookseller market, shoppers and spiritual organizations, as costs will inevitably rise due to the tariffs, Schoenwald warned.

“A 25 % tariff imposed on Bibles would trigger a hardship for a lot of publishers,” Stan Jantz of ECPA wrote, calling for the exclusion of the holy textual content from the tariff hit-list.

Moreover, there isn’t a viable various to printing the holy textual content in China, the place some 50 million copies are issued yearly, with about 20 million of them going to the US. And not solely Bibles, but additionally kids’s books are more likely to really feel the influence of elevated tariffs, as these additionally want particular methods and supplies, publishers warned.

“If tariffs are imposed, there will be fewer books available to American kids,” stated Daniel Reynolds, CEO of Workman Publishing Co. in New York.