Bibles Printed In China Won’t Face Trump’s Tariffs – But Rosary Beads Will
The ongoing trade war with China may be raising consumer prices and threatening to raise the cost of Christmas presents, but one thing will not be affected: Bibles. President Donald Trump’s tariffs will exempt Bibles printed in China from any extra cost.
While a new 10% tariff is set to take affect in September, Chinese Bibles will be permanently exempted, along with other products that will be spared the tariffs because of their importance. These products include construction cranes and child safety seats.
There seems to be no economic rationale to exempting Bibles but the decision may appeal to the President’s Christian supporters. Evangelical Christians still overwhelmingly support Trump and this may be seen as a signal to his base about his priorities.
Interestingly, other religious objects won’t be spared from new tariffs. These include rosary beads, which are used by Roman Catholics an others. Rosaries are often made of plastic and will be subject to the 10% tariff along with other personal religious items.
Some Christians have complained that placing a tariff on Bibles would be damaging and would make it more difficult to spread the Gospel. Despite the avowed purpose of tariffs – to re-balance trade in America’s favor – this exemption is clearly an attempt to avoid criticism from a fervently religious base who may not care much about the President’s economic rationale.