"The tit-for-tat tariffs have now landed us in a trade war that is starting to do real harm to U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and consumers. Tariffs hurt the economy as a whole as well as jobs and consumers in every state.”Coalition Letter
WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation and 65 organizations representing U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, technology companies and other industries today submitted comments to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the administration’s proposed tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese imports. The groups expressed their concern over how the proposed tariffs, along with the threat of additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, are the wrong approach and will harm U.S. companies, workers and consumers.
“Imposing tariffs on Chinese imports will not have the effect that the administration desires,” the coalition wrote. “If the goal is to open markets for U.S. goods and services abroad, the use of tariffs goes against that goal … We are no longer in a ‘trade dispute.’ The tit-for-tat tariffs have now landed us in a trade war that is starting to do real harm to U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and consumers. Tariffs hurt the economy as a whole as well as jobs and consumers in every state.”
The groups urged the administration to outline a full strategy to address long-standing issues over China’s trade practices and consult with businesses and Congress to develop a joint approach.
“The business and agriculture communities stand ready to work with the administration on a clear and concise strategy that will lead to measurable change in China’s unfair trade practices,” the groups wrote. “The end goal should be a long-term solution that meaningfully addresses the commercial issues in China while promoting the competitiveness of U.S. farmers, manufacturers, workers, consumers, and businesses. Implementation of tariffs only saddles the United States with new costs, lost sales, and lost jobs.”
In addition to the coalition letter, NRF submitted its own comments to USTR requesting that all consumer products be removed from the list of proposed tariffs.
“Imposing additional tariffs on more products will not motivate China to change its practices or bring them to the negotiating table,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote. “In addition, it should be noted that for many products made in China that would be affected by tariffs, it will likely be Chinese factory owners who will move to other locations in southeast Asia to get around the tariffs, so they will have no appreciable impact on the overall U.S. trade deficit or on Chinese interests.”
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest-private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com