The trade war between US-China has upsetted the Christian community in the United States. The US church community is now against President Trump’s import duties on Chinese products, as the Holy Bible costs could significantly increase as it’s imported from China.
According to Congressman Josh Harder, more than half of the Bibles produced in the world originate from China. These tariffs will increase the costs of the Bible in America. Congressman Harder said —
The recently proposed tariffs on an additional USD$ 300 billion in Chinese goods, including printed materials, could have significant negative effects on our religious groups, churches, schools, ministries, and nonprofit organisations.
More than half of the Bibles printed in the world originate in China due to the unique paper and technologies required.
I don’t think the president planned to add an extra tax on Bibles, but that’s the practical effect these tariffs would have, and that would make connecting with scripture more difficult for our Christian communities.
We need all of these trade wars to end, but in the meantime, we can’t allow our congregations to become collateral damage.
While I do not believe this was an intended policy aim, the outcome would be harmful to our religious communities who rely on these sacred texts. I respectfully request that you reconsider the proposed tariffs for books and Bibles.
Christian publishers and Bibles societies say that over 20 million Bibles bought each year by Americans.
“A Bible tax would mean fewer Bibles at much higher prices would be available to people who depend on the Bible for their daily spiritual nourishment,” said Stan Jantz, president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
“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. For sure we know that competitive options for printing Bibles outside of China are limited, especially if the current average price of a Bible is to be maintained,” he added.
The 25 percent tariff on Bibles could impact many publishers. Therefore, multiple publishers such Evangelical Christian Publishers Association have written to the United States Trade Representative to do away with tariffs on Books and the Bibles.
Source : Various