Retailers make the case against tariffs
Walmart, Target, Macy’s and several other retailers are urging President Trump not to impose massive tariffs on goods imported from China.
The retailers have sent a letter to President Trump outlining their concerns about the detrimental impact broadly applied tariffs could have on American families.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Apparel & Footwear Association, National Retail Federation and their membership are concerned that any benefits from reform for retailers and families will be wiped out by broadly applied tariffs on every day consumer products.
“We support holding our trading partners accountable and using targeted trade remedies against intellectual property theft, illegal dumping or subsidies, and other proven trade violations,” the signers said.
The White House indicated they would consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act as part of their investigation into unfair Chinese technology and intellectual property policies and practices. Under section 301, the President has unilateral and discretionary action to retaliate against China. The retaliation package could include widespread tariffs on consumer goods, like electronics, apparel, footwear, and home goods. America’s retailers joined together to ask the President to consider the impact to working families before taking action.
“At the same time, we are concerned about the negative impact as you consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act could have on America’s working families…applying any additional broad-based tariff would worsen this inequity and punish American working families with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes, electronics, and home goods. As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices. We must do right by American families while also addressing harmful technology practices.”
Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA, stated that imposed tariffs could set the industry back.
“This is not American industries crying wolf," Kennedy said. "Higher tariffs will mean higher costs to businesses and in turn higher prices for American families. After a major tax reform victory, widespread tariffs on everyday consumer goods will wipe out much of the benefits realized by the average American household. We must do right by American families, and make sure they are not the ones who will pay for China’s harmful technology practices.”
On Sunday, a group of trade associations that represent most of the United States’ large businesses sent a letter echoing concerns about the economic ramifications of tariffs. Other trade associations publicly pushing back include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Information Technology Industry Council.
“Tariffs are a hidden tax on Americans – plain and simple. More than 41 percent of clothing, 72 percent of footwear, and 84 percent of travel goods sold in the U.S. are made in China. A tariff on these products would be a tax on every American. In addition to increasing costs for American families, this action could result in retaliatory tariffs that target American businesses, resulting in job losses. At the end of the day, this could be disastrous for American families, American workers, and American businesses,” said Rick Helfenbein, President and CEO of AAFA.
To read a full copy of the letter click here.