China tariffs could lead to a ‘Bible tax’ in the US, say Christian publishers

Buying a print-edition Bible could get more expensive if government tariffs on Chinese goods proposed by the Trump administration are implemented, according to publishers.

The parent company of the two largest Bible publishers in the United States has warned that proposed tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese-made products would affect books and other printed materials, including Bibles, which are overwhelmingly printed in China because of the specialized technology and skills they require to produce, according to Bloomberg.

“We believe the administration was unaware of the potential negative impact these proposed tariffs would have on the publishing industry generally and that it never intended to impose a ‘Bible Tax’ on consumers and religious organizations,” said Mark Schoenwald, president of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, in a written statement.

“However, if printed books, including Bibles, are not removed from the fourth list of products from China to be subject to tariffs and the tariffs go into effect, publishers will reduce investment in their businesses, consumers and religious organizations will face higher prices and churches, schools, ministries and nonprofit organizations will have fewer resources to educate others and connect them with the Holy Bible.” (RNS)