Trump is deaf to retailers on tariffs
The Trump administration has increased tariffs on about $200 billion worth of goods imported from China after trade talks between the U.S. and the Asian nation failed to reach an agreement. The government in Beijing has said it will retaliate against the punitive action against the U.S.
The decision to go ahead with the tariff increase follows a campaign by retailers and others to convince Mr. Trump that a trade war with China is paid for by American consumers and businesses. That campaign, however, has fallen on deaf ears.
“I’m different than a lot of people,” Mr. Trump said. “I happen to think the tariffs for our country are very powerful.”
A report by the Trade Partnership released on February estimated that tariffs on all Chinese imports could lead to a loss of up to one million jobs in the U.S. Earlier this week, Mr. Trump threatened to impose tariffs on about $325 billion of Chinese imports that currently do not have tariffs attached to them.
“We want to see meaningful changes in China’s trade practices, but it makes no sense to punish Americans as a negotiating tactic,” said David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, in a recent statement. “If the administration wants to put more pressure on China, it should form a multinational coalition with our allies who share our concerns.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association also issued a statement earlier this week on the topic. “Tariffs are taxes American families pay — $24 billion and counting. Raising tariffs means raising taxes on millions of American families and inviting further retaliation on American farmers which jeopardizes domestic jobs. We want President Trump to successfully reach a deal with China that puts a check on anti-competitive behavior. But a deal that increases tariffs on everyday goods will be a loser for middle class families.”
- U.S. Slaps Higher Tariffs on Chinese Imports as Trade Talks Resume – The Wall Street Journal
- Retailers respond to administration’s threat to raise tariffs – National Retail Federation
- Retailers respond to Trump’s plan to raise tariffs – Retail Industry Leaders Association
- American Workers Will Lose Nearly One Million Jobs If Tariffs Rise March 1, According to New Study – The Trade Partnership
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What more can the retail industry do since lobbying efforts to date have failed to convince Donald Trump of the impact that import tariffs have on American consumers and businesses? Will a continuing impasse with China over trade significantly hurt the U.S. economy?