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NRF and other businesses express concerns over USTR proposed tariffs

Published 14 May 2018

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and over 100 other associations representing US retailers, manufacturers and others submitted comments to US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer outlining how the administration’s proposed tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese imports would harm the US economy.

The groups urged the administration to instead develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively address China’s unfair trade practices by aligning with Congress and like-minded trading partners.

The coalition wrote: “The proposed tariff list and escalating tariff threats made by the administration will not effectively advance our shared goal of changing these harmful Chinese practices in a durable, verifiable and enforceable manner.

“Only through extensive collaboration and alignment can the administration develop and execute a strategic policy to effectively address our shared issues of critical concern in China.”

“We believe the proposed tariffs will be counterproductive and undermine your efforts to change China’s policies and practices,” the letter said.

“There is no way to scope tariffs such that they would not impose direct and indirect costs on U.S. imports, inputs and exports in a way that strains the global supply chain and drives prices up.”

“We understand that the Section 301 tariff threat is intended to create leverage to change the direction of the Chinese economy, but that provides little comfort to those businesses, farms and workers whose livelihoods are being put at risk,” the groups said.

USTR is scheduled to hold hearings next week to consider input from industries impacted by the proposed tariffs. NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French will testify on Wednesday.

Source: Company Press Release.