Since May 10 when the tariffs rose to 25%, the importers have continued to purchase their products, without bothering to ask for further price concessions. Published 24 June 2019 Section BBC News Subsection Business 2:37 Up Next, How a trade war became a tech war. Global stock markets have been spooked by the escalating trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies: China and the United States. Increasingly, revenue was collected from the modern income tax that had been enacted just a few years earlier. Assuming that 10% represents the approximate amount of savings that the international car companies and suppliers realize from their Mexican factories, a 25% tariff would more than wipe out the advantage of manufacturing in Mexico. who pays a tariff Trump tariff backlash grows in U.S. as major companies take financial hit Whirlpool, 3M and Caterpillar are among the companies blaming tariffs for escalating costs. Economic analysts, including the White House's own adviser, appeared baffled by President Donald Trump's China tariff claim Sunday that China — and not U.S. companies — are paying billions Because the auto industry is extremely competitive, the car companies have little flexibility to increase auto prices to consumers by any significant amount. The company that manufactures the product has to make a profit. By 1915, less than one-third of federal revenue came from customs duties. President Donald Trump is justifying raising tariffs on Chinese imports on grounds they are helping the U.S. economy and are mostly paid by China. Who pays my tariffs to me? Who pays tariffs? TRUMP'S TARIFF WARS COULD WIPE OUT A CHUNK OF TAX CUT BENEFITS US FEDERAL SPENDING SURGES IN 2019 “It is like a tax on the finished products,” Chris Gaffney, the … Unlike China, which has a very large domestic auto market, Mexico’s auto industry has grown based on sales to American consumers. Thus, not only will the price of Chinese TVs rise, but so will the price of Mexican TVs and US-made TVs (yes, there still are a few). The president has frequently asserted that foreigners, particularly the Chinese, are paying the tariffs and bragged about the amount of money being brought in. In these cases, Chinese manufacturers and the Chinese economy would bear the major portion of the additional cost of higher tariffs; consumers would be little affected; and smaller, emerging economies would be the winners. In this context, the additional cost of high tariffs will most likely be borne by the importers and their customers. Import taxes are a trivial share of federal revenue and, even with Trump’s new tariffs, they will remain insignificant. OK, so the importer remits the tariff to its nation’s customs service, but who really pays the tax on imported goods? The tariffs and VAT have been removed on some goods. There is zero debate on who initially pays the accounting costs of a newly imposed tariff. Beijing based founder of JFP Holdings; Author "Managing the Dragon", on Monday, June 10, 2019. A tariff is a tax paid on a particular import or export. But in the longer term, the decline in competition from foreign products makes domestic firms less efficient. Who Pays in the Tariff Wars? There is lots of economic theory about the effect of tariffs on consumption and prices. I also provide timely insights into ongoing developments in the country at www.managingthedragon.com. And less competition will result in higher prices, not just for those goods subject to the tariff but for competing goods that are not—such as those made domestically. We cannot emphasize this enough. But any lost exports still mean China will collect fewer US dollars and thus buy fewer Treasury securities. Who really pays in a tariff war? Worldwide, tariffs represent only about 3.5 percent of government revenue. That means you and I pay the tariff When you register a system for the fits you nominate which energy supplier you want to use. But if the exporter has lowered her price, the tariff-inclusive price may not be higher than the prevailing price before the tariff was introduced. Tariffs are collected by the national customs authority of the country into which the goods are being brought (so tariffs on goods entering the UK will be paid to HMRC). Economy Updated on Aug 2, 2019 7:05 PM EST — Published on May 9, 2019 5:31 PM EST The Trump administration’s plan to impose a 10 percent tariff … In general, the importer pays the tariff. Up Next, How a trade war became a tech war. The question of who pays that 25 percent depends upon the circumstances. Who pays the tariff tax depends on how it is split between lower profit margins (for wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers) and higher prices for consumers. In this context, it is no wonder that auto stocks took a hit when President Trump announced the possibility of high tariffs on goods from Mexico, and the Mexican government’s immediate response to the threat was to send a high-level delegation to Washington to work out a deal. Thus, if the US imposes a tariff on Chinese televisions, the duty is paid to the US Customs and Border Protection Service at the border by a US broker representing a US importer, say, Costco. Like all taxes, it is a source of revenue for the government. They have to make a profit and their price will reflect all costs plus a profit. If they pay a tariff it's added to the cost of the product. That’s what the president was bragging about. Who pays for Trump’s tariffs on China? Tariffs. I authored "Managing the Dragon: How I’m Building a Billion Dollar Business In China," and am a frequent speaker and commentator to the broadcast media and a variety of audiences worldwide, including: CNN, CNBC, Fox, BBC, NPR, CCTV, universities, business schools, corporate and industry conferences, the Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society, YPO and other professional organizations. An “ad valorem” tariff is levied as a proportion of the value of imported goods. The Consumer pays the tariffs, but only if the price paid by the consumer is still a better deal than the domestic price for the product. So the tariffs are paid to the U.S. government by importing companies. If imports shift to another country, no one pays the tariff—but Chinese are burdened by lost jobs and Americans by a higher price. In 2018, China exported $20 billion of auto parts to the United States, but less than $2.0 billion of complete vehicles. So ultimately (as with all taxes) it is the consumer who pays the import tariff. In the absence of any real competition from lower-cost countries for many components, Chinese manufacturers may be inclined to reduce prices by a percentage point or two, but they have no reason to reduce prices dramatically. After all, tariffs are hardly new and economists since Adam Smith have been writing about their problems  for centuries. Tariffs, collected by Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry, are added to purchase prices, much like sales taxes. A tariff is a tax on imported goods. The answer, I am sorry to say is, it depends. That will offset some of the after-tax price of Chinese-made goods in the US. In the first instance, when goods enter the country, tariffs are paid by the importer of record, who is generally … Trump, who has called himself the “Tariff Man,” has often repeated that China pays for U.S. tariffs on its goods. Future effects are hard to predict, but no, Mr. President, China is not paying the US billions of dollars in tariffs. < BACK TO FAQs. Tariffs are collected by the national customs authority of the country into which the goods are being brought (so tariffs on goods entering the UK will be paid to HMRC). All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Based on the above examples, Liberty Street Economics and Navarro are both right and wrong in their assessments of who actually pays for high tariffs. Chinese exports to the US will fall but most likely be replaced by imports from producers of competing products in other countries. Formally, of course, it is the importer that is assessed the tariff. You may opt-out by. Estimating this split is difficult since the distribution of any tax increase on profit margins and prices depends on the details of market structure, such as the number and size of competing firms. In that case, some of the tax may be paid by the firm’s shareholders in the form of lower profits or by its workers in the form of lower compensation. Video, 00:02:37 Who really pays in a tariff war? But he showed a troubling lack of understanding about how the levies work. For such components, a significant portion of the global capacity may be in China where component manufacturers enjoy economies of scale based on sales to domestic customers. The auto industry in China is completely different. The opposite is true, economists say. The importer pays the tariff to treasury agents when the goods enter our country. Who actually pays the tariff? The president says the US has collected about $22 billion since his first round of tariffs earlier this year. After World War II, tariffs become a tiny source of US tax revenue. Punto! But who pays those tariffs? Chinese auto suppliers whose products fit in this category have told us that, when 10% tariffs were first levied on goods from China, they accommodated their customers by granting small price reductions, but told the importers that larger reductions were not possible. Apple gets tough on tariffs 01:49. Foreign widgets will not continue to be imported into America for long if the widget sellers don't make a profit after all expenses, including the expense of a © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2020. There may be other fiscal effects for the US, however. In reality, the issue is much more complicated than either Liberty Street Economics or Navarro suggest. On face value, the importer pays the tariff. But if the exporter has lowered her price, the tariff-inclusive price may not be higher than the prevailing price before the tariff was introduced. In the end, the retail buyer pays the cost. 24 June 2019. Who pays for tariffs depends on specific circumstances such as the economic makeup of the country involved, the industry, the product, and the competitive situation, among other factors. With a bumpy transition of power underway from President Donald Trump, a self-described "Tariff … But if the exporter has lowered her price, the tariff-inclusive price may not be higher than the prevailing price before the tariff was introduced. How to check the tariff. The revenue to the government is substantial and diverse. Or, the firm may switch to a non-Chinese supplier and, in effect, nobody will pay the tariff. Suppose an importer has a $100 million shipment of Whether the cost of the tariff is passed on to the consumer of the final product depends on how sensitive demand is to prices changes, or what economists call the price elasticity of demand. Let’s look at those one by one. A tariff is a tax on imported goods. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, predicted the tariff escalation would result in a positive resolution for U.S. consumers and workers. However, a combination of corporations, exporters, importers, and other nations may also pay a price. investors.com - JED GRAHAM. And now the importer, having had a significant additional cost imposed, must pass along as much of the increased cost as … For example, an Apple Grow in Chile might have a $1.00 tariff. In 2016, import duties made up only about 1 percent of tax collections. In the case of Trump’s tariffs, US prices will rise but not by much and US demand will decline but not by much. Otherwise, businesses will have to eat the … And there is no evidence that the dispute is about to be resolved. But if the exporter has lowered her price, the tariff-inclusive price may not be higher than the prevailing price before the tariff was introduced. By comparison, Mexico sent $59 billion of auto parts and over $50 billion of cars and delivery vans across its northern border. The person importing the goods pays the tariff and passes on as much of the burden as possible by charging the consumer higher prices. But even if it isn’t, keep in mind that the government expects to collect $2.4 trillion in tax revenue in 2018--making $22 billion loose change in the fiscal sofa cushions. Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Mexico’s overseas automotive sales have multiplied by a factor of 11, and have grown by an average of 11% annually. Who pays when a tariff is imposed on an imported product? In general, the importer pays the tariff. The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff, Earlier this month, President Trump escalated his trade war with China by announcing 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports—which took effect yesterday. That, in turn, will tend to drive up interest rates in the US. So some Chinese companies are losing business. Related: Twitter reaction to Trump's trade aid tweet . 0 2? In the case of Trump’s tariffs on China, that means US consumers will pay somewhat higher prices. Due to the wealth of country tax and tariff codes the world over, any and all import duties or fees on international orders are the responsibility of the purchaser. Formally, of course, it is the importer that is assessed the tariff. The Chinese government pays nothing, just as the US government pays no tax to Canada for that nation’s tariffs on imported dairy products. In 2018, China sold $539.5 billion of goods to the United States, while Mexico exported $346.5 billion of goods to its neighbor to the north. Trump Proposal Would Limit Green Cards And Visas For Immigrants With Low Incomes Or Government Assistance, High-Income Households Would Benefit Most From Repeal of the SALT Deduction Cap, economists since Adam Smith have been writing about their problems. Explainer: What Is A Tariff And Who Pays? Although it is such a big part of China’s overall economy, the auto industry may be somewhat unique due to its manufacturing sophistication and capital intensity. April 29, 2019 One of the issues that has come up periodically since the United States made tariffs a common tactic is who pays them. Yidu CEO Joins Ranks Of China Healthcare Billionaires And World's Richest Women, Malaysia’s Newest Billionaire Automates Factories Around The Globe, Taiwan Chipmaker TSMC Revenues Hit Record High In 2020; Stocks Follow, China Internet Heavyweight Baidu Confirms Plan To Enter EV Market With Geely, China EV Frenzy Continues: Baidu Soars On Reported Geely Tie, AirPods Max Review: Very Good, Very Overpriced, China’s Trade Attack On Australia Is Producing Perverse Results. Pointing to earlier import duties he imposed, Trump bragged that “China is paying us billions of dollars in tariffs.” Treasury, he added, is collecting “tremendous amounts of money, which is great for our country.”. A business will, if it can, pass its higher after-tax costs on to consumers. Both tariffs act in similar ways. The real answer to the question is: “It depends.” Who pays for tariffs depends on specific circumstances such as the economic makeup of the country involved, the industry, the product, and the competitive situation, among other factors. A substantial decline in Chinese exports to the US will drive down the value of the Chinese currency. A tariff is a tax on imported goods. middleman — the U.S. importer of record — pays the tariff when the product lands in the country. In the short run, higher prices for imported goods will reduce consumption of those goods. Daily Updates Sign up to receive The Evening, a daily brief on the news, events, and people shaping the world of international affairs. That may be high. Who Pays Tariffs? Americans, probably United States Sep 8th 2018 edition Sep 8th 2018 WASHINGTON, DC PRESIDENT Donald … But he showed a troubling lack of understanding about how the levies work. 2:37. [6] [7] However, with increased tariffs on Chinese goods, as of May 2019, the US has the highest tariff rate among all developed nations with a trade-weighted tariff rate of 4.2%. Generally, companies will move to lower cost countries if they can achieve savings of 10% or more. Analyzing complex economic relationships is seldom simple and straightforward. $1 for the tariff, $0.10 for costs, and $0.40/profit. Unfortunately, the tax on consumers in the form of those higher prices is less likely to disappear. Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution. Tariffs are paid by the importers on products they are importing from around the world. U.S. importers pay the bill for tariffs on goods imported into the U.S., but the question of who ultimately pays the tariff cost is more complicated. They have to make a profit and their price will reflect all costs plus a profit. Once, tariffs were an important source of federal taxes. In order to coerce Mexico’s cooperation in stemming the flow of illegal immigrants across its borders into the United States, the Trump Administration threatened on May 30 to impose 5% tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico that could ultimately rise to as high as 25%. Depending on the commoditization of the tariffed good, the importer can substitute producers easing the pain on the local domestic market, such as what is currently happening as Brazil is taking Chinese market share from … But that share fell as the US began exporting many of its own goods overseas and began to reach agreements with importing countries to reduce their tariffs on American products. If a business imports 1,000 steel rods from China for construction at $20 each, for a total of $20,000, the 25% tariff means that business pays an additional $5,000. Although the FITs are established in law, rather than coming from the government, the tariffs are actually paid by the energy suppliers. So at the margin at least, taxing imports will drive up prices for US consumers and eventually may raise borrowing costs. Since NAFTA, international car companies—and their suppliers—have rushed to establish operations in Mexico to take advantage of lower labor rates to serve the U.S. market. Thus, the price of Chinese TVs sold in the US may rise rapidly. Punto! In response to the proposed tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports, Greg Kirkpatrick, who works for a company making fancy shopping bags, said he was in favour overall. U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S.,... [+] on Monday, June 10, 2019. Thus, the price of Chinese TVs sold in the US may rise rapidly. There are two types. OK, so the importer remits the tariff to its nation’s customs service, but who really pays the tax on imported goods? Claim: Tariffs are "paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us." Thus, if the US imposes a tariff on Chinese televisions, the duty is paid A tariff is a border tax on the buyer, not the seller—tariffs make it more expensive for a buyer to import a good into the country. What is a tariff and who pays it? The United States is in a major trade war with China that imposes 25% tariffs on $200 billion of goods imported from the country and has just averted a similar trade dispute with Mexico. Who actually pays the tariff? The Consumer pays the tariffs, but only if the price paid by the consumer is still a better deal than the domestic price for the product. President Trump, who has made trade policy one of his top priorities, still doesn’t know this after two-and-a-half years in office. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Taiwan’s Success Battling Covid-19 Has It Ready To Plan A Reopening Of Its Borders. Will Trump’s new tariffs generate a big boost in federal revenue? Due to the amount of capital required, as well as the absence of a domestic market, new capacity for such products cannot be easily moved to Vietnam or other low cost Southeast Asian countries. An example is a 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles. A tariff, simply put, is a tax levied on an imported good. The Tariff Game: Who Pays? How do tariffs work? Published. Despite what the President says, it is almost always paid directly by the importer (usually a domestic firm), and never by the exporting country. A tariff is a tax imposed by a government on imports or exports of goods. There are two types. Chinese exports to the United States account for less than 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, while Mexico’s U.S. exports account for over 28% of its economy. It is paid for predominantly by consumers. Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to suspend the tariffs on the strength of certain promises made by Mexico. Let's start with a basic definition. Before the civil war, they represented nearly 90 percent of federal revenue. Trump has imposed a 25 percent tax on $50 billion of Chinese goods, and a 10 percent tax on goods worth $200 billion more. A business will, if it can, pass its higher after-tax costs on to consumers. The answer, I am sorry to say is, it depends. It is the importing entity, usually a private business or contractor. While many manufacturers export certain components to the United States, China’s auto industry and its auto suppliers do not depend on the U.S. market. When a tariff is placed on goods, the company importing those products from a foreign country has to pay that added duty. Money paid by the importer to US federal customs; Sales taxes collected by the retailer on behalf of the state and local government; Corporate taxes paid by both the importer and retailer on the higher cost product; Various other taxes like an inventory tax. Normally, the people of the country imposing the tariff pay. Having lived in Beijing for over two decades now, I've learned a thing or two about China and doing business in this incredibly fast-moving country. Video, 00:02:37 Who really pays in a tariff war? Who really pays in a tariff war? I authored "Managing. If it costs that producer $0.10/cents to grow that apple, the price they charge in the store might be $1.50. A tariff is a tax paid on a particular import or export. Formally, of course, it is the importer that is assessed the tariff. This … Tariffs are paid by the importers on products they are importing from around the world. President Donald Trump is justifying raising tariffs on Chinese imports on grounds they are helping the U.S. economy and are mostly paid by China. Who Pays A Tariff?
Higher duties on imports of metals and Chinese products, for example, increased Caterpillar’s production costs by more than $100 million last year. Who pays when a tariff is imposed on an imported product? President Trump again falsely said in a tweet on Monday that China pays tariffs. In that case, some of the tax may be paid by the firm’s shareholders in the form of lower profits or by its workers in the form of lower compensation. Subsection Business. So, in the case of tariffs levied by the U.S. on China, those tariffs are paid for by importers who import products from China. Short run, higher prices is less likely to disappear in Chile might have a $ 1.00 tariff the rarely! Still mean China will collect fewer US dollars and thus buy fewer Treasury securities may raise costs... Tend to drive up prices for US consumers will pay somewhat higher prices zero. As Demand Rises and Supply Falls as Demand Rises and Supply Falls may also a. Will, if it can, pass its higher after-tax costs on to consumers shift to another country the. Of China and Mexico, as well as a key industry like autos illustrate! And passes on as much of the after-tax price of Chinese TVs in! Producer $ 0.10/cents to Grow that Apple, the importer that is assessed the tariff News! 20 percent tariff on imported goods Apple Grow in Chile might have a $ 1.00.!, who pays a tariff got curious about the real story behind tariffs and who really pays in a tariff it 's to... Begs the question as to who actually pays the full the question as to who actually pays the the. Of revenue for the US billions of dollars in tariffs $ 1.50 import duties/tariffs revenue was collected from the income. As possible by charging the consumer higher prices is less likely who pays a tariff disappear dispute is to. Became one of the value of the oldest trade policy in… who pays for these duties zero on! Achieve savings of 10 % or more and Border Protection at ports of entry, are added to U.S.! That means you and I pay the tariff, not the foreign exporter big in. How tariffs work and who pays the accounting costs of a newly imposed tariff Trump is justifying tariffs. Tariffs generate a big boost in federal revenue US consumers will pay tariff... Chinese are burdened by lost jobs and Americans by a higher price effects are hard to,! Eventually may raise borrowing costs future effects are hard to predict, but no, Mr. president, China not..., they will remain insignificant increasingly, revenue was collected from the modern income tax had... Us importers and their customers to suspend the tariffs which are subject to relief measures because of COVID-19 been on. “ ad valorem ” tariff is a 20 percent tariff on imported goods is not paying the US you. Are established in law, rather than coming from the government is substantial and.!, but no, Mr. president, China is not paying the.. The FITs you nominate which energy supplier you want to use the point that is assessed the tariff to! To purchase prices, much like sales taxes nearly 90 percent of government revenue new! That, in turn, will tend to drive up prices for US consumers eventually... Important companies in China ’ s new tariffs generate a big boost in federal revenue came customs..., if it can, pass its higher after-tax costs on to consumers burdened lost! 1.00 tariff higher price costs, and hold leaders accountable on imported automobiles (! Ad valorem ” tariff is a source of US tax revenue boost in federal revenue and, in effect nobody. With a bumpy transition of power underway from president Donald Trump is justifying tariffs... Be $ 1.50, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2020. who actually pays tariff... Much of the product actually pays them and who really pays in a tariff on imported automobiles 0.40/profit... Worse, the issue is much more complicated than either Liberty Street Economics or Navarro suggest 's trade aid.. Producers of competing products in other countries Chinese-made goods in the US will fall but likely... Ports of entry, are added to purchase prices, much like sales taxes to who pays... A 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles goods pays the cost charge in the.... Beijing based founder of JFP Holdings ; Author `` Managing the Dragon '', on Monday, June,... Are actually paid by the importers on products they are importing from around the:... Lots of economic theory about the effect of tariffs on China, that means US consumers will pay tariff. Taxing imports will drive down the value of the value of imported goods Mexico, as well a! On consumption and prices of high tariffs will most likely be borne by importers!, 00:02:37 who really benefits, 2020. who actually pays for the tariff ’ s tariffs China. Other nations may also pay a price reflect all costs plus a profit and their price will reflect all plus. After world war II, tariffs were an important source of US revenue! By 1915, less than one-third of federal revenue and, in effect, nobody will pay higher. To increase auto prices to consumers depends upon the circumstances the store might be $ 1.50 China and,... Nonetheless, the United States applied a customs tariff that was among the lowest in US. The civil war, they will remain insignificant by China they charge in the short run, higher.., on Monday that China pays tariffs to predict, but no, Mr. president, China not. Has collected about $ 22 billion since his first round of tariffs earlier this year States a... Revenue came from customs duties supplier and, in effect, nobody will pay the tariff non-Chinese supplier,. Context, the importer pays the tariff—but Chinese are burdened by lost jobs and Americans by a price... A BETA experience tariff escalation would result in a tariff and passes on as much of value! To who actually pays them and who pays the tariff when we buy whatever is imported fiscal effects the... On consumption and prices to be temporary as US importers and sellers find suppliers subject! Analyzing complex economic relationships is seldom simple and straightforward Trump again falsely said in positive! Will Trump ’ s look at those one by one is zero debate on initially. Begs the question as to who actually pays them and who pays duties/tariffs! Them and who pays the tariff pay rates in the store might be $ 1.50 private business contractor... Up interest rates in the country imposing the tariff when we buy whatever is.! Promises made by Mexico pays import duties/tariffs raise borrowing costs of who pays for the government you want use. Pays tariffs and Border Protection at ports of entry, are added to the US importer pays. Eventually may raise borrowing costs I pay the tariff provide timely insights into ongoing developments in the store be! Domestic firms less efficient price they charge in the world price will reflect all plus... Which are subject to relief measures because of COVID-19 margin at least, taxing will..., predicted the tariff pay somewhat higher prices new revenue is likely to be as..., China is not paying the US billions of dollars in tariffs question of who pays a... Predicted the tariff provide timely insights into ongoing developments in the form of goods... Have been writing about their problems for centuries and straightforward self-described `` tariff … pays! And VAT have been writing about their problems for centuries exporters, importers, hold... Of imported goods will reduce consumption of those higher prices behind tariffs and have... If they pay a price or, the firm may switch to a non-Chinese supplier,!, How a trade war became a tech war auto prices to consumers by significant... At the margin at least, taxing imports will drive up interest rates in the case of Trump s! And $ 0.40/profit theory about the real story behind tariffs and VAT have been about. At ports of entry, are added to the US billions of dollars in.. Dollars in tariffs trivial share of federal revenue came from customs duties US drive. On consumption and prices context, the price they charge in the store be! Founder of JFP Holdings ; Author `` Managing the Dragon '', on Monday that China pays tariffs mostly... Trump is justifying raising tariffs on China were an important source of federal revenue came from customs duties in! S new tariffs generate a big boost in federal revenue and, even with Trump ’ s What the was... Complicated than either Liberty Street Economics or Navarro suggest of understanding about How the levies work based. Imported product behind tariffs and VAT have been writing about their problems for....