U.S. retailers urge Trump against tariffs

U.S. retailers urge Trump against tariffs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading an investigation into China's treatment of American intellectual property, and is expected in the coming weeks to hand over its recommendations to address any unfair practices to President Donald Trump.

The trade groups represent companies such as Apple, Alphabet - the parent company of Google - Walmart and Nike.

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. Washington could impose more than $60 billion in tariffs on goods ranging from electronics to apparel, footwear and toys. 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. "Given the price sensitivity of our products, any additional increases in our costs would strike right at the heart of our ability to keep product competitively priced for our consumers".

It comes after President Trump declares his intentions to impose about USD30 million tariffs on China's products as well as services. The tariffs would not need approval from Congress.

Wal-Mart is among 25 U.S. retailers who have signed the letter that was sent to the White House, Monday.

Trade associations publicly pushing back against Trump's tariff plans include the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and the Information Technology Industry Council.

"It would stifle USA agriculture, goods and services exports and raise costs for businesses and consumers", feared the groups and companies that had signed the letter, including Apple, Alphabet, Walmart and Nike.

"If this interim final rule was delayed to allow for public comment or for 30 days before companies in the USA were allowed to request exclusions, ...those entities could face significant economic hardship that could potentially create a detrimental effect on the general US economy", it said.

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

The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese IT, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices.

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