U.S. businesses are speaking up this week in a series of public hearings and testimonies on the Trump administration’s proposal to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The majority of businesses addressing the proposal warn the administration the tariffs will directly affect the American consumer, as the increased cost of both imported materials and finished products will be passed onto the buyer.
The proposed duties of up to 25 percent are under consideration in an effort to pressure China to revise its trade and economic policies, says CNBC. Unlike previous tariffs that aimed to shield consumers, these duties will hit consumers on a wide range of products.
“Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers. This is not the right approach,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony for the hearing.
“The initial action was the imposition of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion, effective July 6, 2018,” details the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the official proposal. “The June 20 notice also sought public comment on another proposed action, in the form of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $16 billion.”
Imports under consideration in the proposal include Chinese seafood, fruits and vegetables, raw materials such as metals, chemicals, and leather, woven fabrics and cotton, and parts of various machinery. You can see the exhaustive list here.
More than 1,400 written comments submitted to the USTR from various businesses argued that the tariffs will cause harm and higher costs for products “ranging from Halloween costumes and Christmas lights to nuclear fuel inputs, while a small number praised them or asked that they be extended to other products,” reports CNBC.
Graco Children’s Products is one the many companies that chimed in with their dissent on the topic. According to Graco, the tariff “only causes a children safety issue; it will not convince China to change its policies,” as reported by CNBC. Graco asserts that the higher prices of imported goods, and therefore of their products, will only push parents to compromise on the quality of products they provide for their children.
The USTR reports on “July 6, 2018, China responded to the initial action by imposing increased duties on goods of the United States.” Mid-level Trump administration officials and their Chinese counterparts are expected to meet later this week in Washington to discuss their trade dispute, says CNBC.