USA trade associations urge Trump to avoid tariffs against China

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The White House declined to comment Monday.

Since 2017, China has imposed a rule that USA companies must share their technology with their Chinese counterparts in order to do business in the country. But the White House confirmed to CNN last week that the administration is weighing tariffs on at least $30 billion worth of other imports from China. In a letter sent to President Donald Trump on Sunday, the trade groups urged the administration to rely on other strategies for addressing China's business practices.

"In the US, those who can afford less pay more because the USA levies the highest tariffs on basic consumer goods", the letter states.

Broad-based tariffs on Chinese goods would "trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the USA economy", a coalition of more than 40 business groups led by the Information Technology Industry Council said Sunday in a letter to the president.

One source says that the China tariffs may be subject to a public comment period, which would delay their effective date and allow industry groups and companies to lodge objections.

According to data from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), 41 percent of clothing, 72 percent of footwear and 84 percent of travel goods sold in the USA are made in China.

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They highlighted the potential impact, including higher prices for electronics, apparel and other products, and harming United States companies that sell component pieces of final products exported from China. "Were this investigation to result in a broadly applied tariff remedy on imports from China, it would hurt American households with higher prices and exacerbate a US tariff system that is already stacked against working families", the letter goes on. As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices.

"As the industry closest to consumers, retailers know firsthand how high tariffs will hurt American families".

"The [Trump] administration should not respond to unfair Chinese practices and policies by imposing tariffs or other measures that will harm USA companies, workers, farmers, ranchers, consumers and investors", the groups said in the letter.

Both the NRF and AAFA were signers on the Sunday petition.

"This is not American industries crying wolf", Kennedy said.

Unilateral US tariffs "would only serve to split the United States from its allies, hinder joint action to effectively address shared challenges, and ensure that foreign companies take the place of markets that American companies, farmers and ranchers must vacate when China retaliates".

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