Have you heard the bad news?
Publishers are warning the Trump administration that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports would cause Bible prices to skyrocket and could significantly reduce how many Bibles can be both produced and sold in the United States.
Several book publishers, including the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), urged the Office of the United States Trade Representative during a June hearing for books and Bibles to be excluded from the list of tariffed items from China.
CBS News reported on the alert Tuesday.
Stan Jantz, president and CEO of the ECPA, warned of “significant damage to Bible accessibility” if the government went through with Trump’s proposed tariffs.
“A 25 percent tariff imposed on Bibles would cause a hardship for those ECPA publishers who depend on the Bible for a large portion of their business,” Jantz said. “Even more, the people who buy and read the Bible would potentially have to pay a much higher price, perhaps higher than they could justify.”
Speaking on behalf of the Bible publisher Biblica, Jantz stated that the tariffs would “would dramatically affect the number of Bibles Biblica is able to print and give away, impacting the religious freedom of individuals in countries where bible access is limited and often non-existent.”
China is home to the world’s biggest Bible factory, according to the Financial Times.
Trump, who currently enjoys overwhelming support from American evangelicals, claimed in 2015 that the Bible was his favorite book (“Nothing beats the Bible!” he told a crowd of campaign rally-goers), though he was unable to say what his favorite verse was at the time (“The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics,” he told Bloomberg reporters). When asked again almost a year later, Trump said his favorite verse was the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye” teaching.
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