Bible shortage? Publishers Blame Tariffs

Patrick Gentry
July 08, 2019 - 1:14 pm

In this July 5, 2019 Bibles are displayed in Miami. Religious publishers say President Trump's most recently proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could result in a Bible shortage. That's because millions of Bibles, some estimates put it at 150 million or more, are now printed in China each year. Critics of a proposed tariff say it would not only make the Bible more expensive for consumers, it would also hurt the evangelical efforts of Christian organizations that give away Bibles as part of their ministry. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Religious publishers say President Donald Trump's most recent proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could result in a Bible shortage.

That's because millions of Bibles are printed in China each year. Stan Jantz is president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He says more than half of worldwide Bible production takes place in China.

Critics of a proposed tariff say it would make the Bible more expensive for consumers. It would also hurt the efforts of Christian organizations that give away Bibles as part of their ministry.

The proposed 25% tariff would apply to all books, but critics say it would disproportionately affect Bibles and children's books. Both tend to have specialized printing requirements that Chinese printers are set up to meet while many domestic printers are not.

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