Friday, 19 October, 2018

U.S. retailers urge Trump not to levy tariffs on Chinese imports

US trade groups warn against higher tariffs Trade groups tell Trump his China tariffs risk a "chain reaction"
Faye Gross | 20 March, 2018, 04:23

US businesses in China have long complained about being forced to hand over technology as the price of gaining access to the market.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recently proposed a package of tariffs on China, with the trade deficit with Beijing running to a record $375 billion (€306 billion) past year.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Retailers and shoemakers continued to sound alarms on Monday about their concerns that President Donald Trump's plan to impose sweeping tariffs on imported goods from China will result in higher consumer prices.

Despite the good intentions, large USA retailers that have high-volume trade partnerships with Chinese suppliers and manufactures worry the plan will backfire at the cost of American consumers.

The signers argue that benefits from the proposal will be wiped out by price surges on everyday consumer products, which eventually passes the burden to consumers.

Forty-five trade associations representing some of the largest firms in the United States have urged US President Donald Trump not to impose tariffs on China, saying the move will hurt the American economy and consumers.

According to data from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), 41 percent of clothing, 72 percent of footwear and 84 percent of travel goods sold in the US are made in China.

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"Applying any additional broad-based tariff ... would punish American working families with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes, electronics, and home goods", the retailers said.

The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices.

"We urge the administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with worldwide obligations that benefit United States exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness", the trade groups said in their letter.

The letter is the latest example of the growing division between the Trump administration and many in the business community over trade policy.

Both the NRF and AAFA were signers on the Sunday petition. The tariffs will take effect on March 23.

"That is why our board decided to make a substantial investment in launching this campaign to urge the president to steer away from tariffs that will ultimately hurt equipment manufacturers and cost American jobs", Slater said.

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