US trade groups urge Trump to avoid tariffs against China

Trump eyes tariffs on up to $60 billion Chinese goods; tech, telecoms, apparel targeted

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A group of 25 major USA retail companies, including Walmart, Costco and Best Buy, on Monday urged the Donald Trump administration not to impose sweeping tariffs on Chinese imports.

President Trump has received an appeal from trade associates that represent U.S. giants against going through with a plan to strike tariffs on Chinese products and services. The coalition includes groups representing retailers and makers of everything from toys to wine, while the council represents companies including Amazon, Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The administration is said to be considering targeting at least $30 billion of Chinese imports.

Expectations of the anti-China tariffs have alarmed dozens of USA business groups, who warned on Sunday they would raise prices for consumers, kill jobs and drive down financial markets.

"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 letter states.

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China will take "strong" measures to protect its own interests, the Ministry of Commerce said in response Trump's tariffs announcement. "We can not allow this to happen as it has for many years!" Such measures could also hurt USA companies that sell components of products exported from China, as well as raising input costs for American manufacturers, the coalition said.

Tariffs on electronics, clothing and other products would raise prices for consumers and businesses, negating gains from the tax cuts passed by Congress late a year ago, the business coalition said.

Forty-five USA trade associations, representing retail, technology, agriculture and other consumer-product industries, on Sunday also urged the Trump administration not to move forward its tariff plan on Chinese imports, as it would hurt US consumers and companies.

Trade groups have maintained their campaign to dissuade Trump from pressing ahead, arguing the tariffs would expose American companies to "a chain reaction of negative consequences".

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USA actors and groups may also submit objections to exclusion requests, and companies filing objections must demonstrate that they are able to produce a product similar to the excluded good in question. Tariffs of 10 percent would reduce U.S, output by $163 billion over the next decade, while a 25 percent penalty would curb output by $332 billion over the same period, according to the foundation. Imports from Canada and Mexico provisionally were excluded from the tariffs.

The letter asked the administration to work with companies to find a solution.

It is interesting to note that China is also the largest foreign holder of the USA government debt.

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