Evidently, a protectionist and a trade hardliner, President Donald Trump has angered hundreds of American businesses. Reports of Trump wanting to ramp up the escalating trade war with China by imposing additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, prompted reaction from U.S. businesses.
Hundreds of American companies have testified in hearings hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Axios reports.
The 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will not curb China’s unfair trade practices, they will only hurt the American consumer by raising prices on a wide variety of everyday items, industry representatives and businesses argued.
The American Chemistry Council argued that “supply chains are not plug-and-play,” criticizing Trump for reconfiguring U.S. trade policy on a whim.
The American Bridal Prom Industry Association criticized the tariffs from its own perspective, explaining that Chinese dominance as an apparel maker means that “it will be virtually impossible to avoid importing Chinese made goods entirely,” which, in turn, means that Trump’s tariffs on China will only increase costs for American companies, and therefore American consumers.
Quality Bicycle Products Inc slammed Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, in a statement which perhaps best illustrates the bizarre, and, as Axios put it, “logic-defying” nature of Trump tariffs.
“If you want to see the latest in bicycle technology, you can go to the Smithsonian Museum, the Air and Space Museum, and see a 1903 Wright Brothers bicycle that is in essence what is being produced in China today. The same technology. There aren’t any semiconductor chips in a bicycle imported from China.”
Graco Children’s Products Inc also expressed concern, claiming that Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports will force American families to make “difficult trade-offs,” in an effort to balance between protecting their children, and staying within their household budgets.
As Axios noted, the hearings were eerily similar to previous hearings hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative when the Trump administration threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Those hearings were held to no avail since the administration ultimately decided to impose the tariffs.
It is not only American businesses that are dissatisfied with Donald Trump’s protectionist stances.
Just yesterday, NAFTA negotiations between Canada and the U.S. fell through, in part thanks to Trump’s off-the-record comments and uncompromising attitude. This prompted some Canadian officials to react.
“We have here, a president who in his public utterances is completely disconnected from the truth,” Canada’s former ambassador for trade negotiations, remarked to NPR.
Canada is not the only U.S. ally Trump has distanced himself from. On July 24, Trump proposed via Twitter that both the U.S. and the EU drop all tariffs.
“Hope they do it, we are ready – but they won’t!,” Trump wrote.
But, the EU did just that. A few weeks later, the president’s bluff was called. As CNBC reported, the European Union offered to eliminate all tariffs, but the POTUS rejected the offer.