Retailers cry out against further tariffs on Chinese goods
Retailers across the U.S. have warned about higher prices and other unpleasant consequences of an additional 5% tariff on Chinese goods to enter into effect Sept. 1.
David Lawder and Rajesh Kumar Singh had the news for Reuters:
The Trump administration on Wednesday made official its extra 5% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports and set collection dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, prompting hundreds of U.S. retail, footwear, toy and technology companies to warn of price hikes.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in an official notice that collections of a 15% tariff will begin at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) Sunday on a portion of the list covering over $125 billion of targeted goods from China.
This initial tranche includes smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat panel televisions and many types of footwear.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will also start collecting a 15% tariff on Dec. 15 on the remainder of the $300 billion list, including cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing, USTR said in the Federal Register filing.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the increase to 15% from 10% last Friday on Twitter, escalating the bitter U.S. China trade war after Beijing hit back with retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including crude oil.
AFP reported some companies have called the tariffs “job killers”:
President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods are a “job killer” that will slam consumers and could make a recession more likely, industry groups said Wednesday.
The latest cry for peace in Trump’s year-long trade war came just days before the first in series of tariff increases is due to go into effect — potentially raising prices ahead of the crucial holiday shopping period.
In a sharp deterioration in the US-China trade war, Trump last week ramped up the punitive duties for the vast majority of US imports from China.
The five percent increases, which will take the tariffs to 15 percent and 30 percent, are due to roll out in stages through December and target some popular items, such as laptops, mobile phones and some shoes.
More than 200 footwear manufacturers and retailers, including major brands such as Nike and Foot Locker, signed onto the letter alerting that the new tariffs could cost US consumers an additional $4 billion a year and increase the chances of an economic downturn.
CBS’ Rachel Layne quoted the retailers’ coalition:
The measures “come at the worst possible time, right in the middle of the busy holiday shipping period,” said the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, formed in September by the country’s biggest trade associations, in a letter on Wednesday to Mr. Trump and White House trade officials. The group is also behind the “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” campaign.
The business groups said it also opposes China’s tariffs on American products. But “subjecting U.S. companies, the workers they employ, and the consumers they serve to new and unprecedented taxes takes us further away from the deal you are working to craft,” they told Mr. Trump.
Rising trade tensions come amid signs that U.S. economic growth is slowing, including declining corporate profits, a dip in job-creation and evidence that consumer confidence may be wavering. A recent CBS News poll shows American consumers are worried about how the tariffs will affect them, and economists are concerned the trade sanctions will weigh on global growth.
U.S. companies pay tariffs, not China as Mr. Trump has erroneously claimed. The U.S. economy is roughly 70% driven by consumers. The sharply higher tariffs on Chinese goods are set to raise prices for consumers on everything from phones and video consoles to apparel and shoes.