ICYMI: Business Groups Warn Administration to Avoid Tariff Increase

National Retail Federation 

“Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not by China. A sudden tariff increase with less than a week’s notice would severely disrupt U.S. businesses, especially small companies that have limited resources to mitigate the impact. If the administration follows through on this threat, American consumers will face higher prices and U.S. jobs will be lost.  “We want to see meaningful changes in China’s trade practices, but it makes no sense to punish Americans as a negotiating tactic. If the administration wants to put more pressure on China, it should form a multinational coalition with our allies who share our concerns. We urge the administration to reconsider this tax hike on Americans and stay at the bargaining table until a deal is reached.” – NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French

Consumer Technology Association 

“The president is seeking a better trade deal with China. But he must understand the Chinese don’t pay for these U.S. tariffs – American families, workers and companies pay for tariffs. “Tariffs are taxes. And implementing these 25% tariffs on just five-days’ notice would roil our markets, damage U.S. businesses and do serious harm to Americans’ retirement funds and pensions.” – CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro

Information Technology Industry Council 

“Increasing tariffs would only continue to harm American consumers and businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, as well as threaten American economic growth and leadership in innovation. We support the Trump Administration in seeking to fundamentally redefine the trade relationship with China; however threats to increase tariffs at this juncture in the negotiations could negatively affect the important progress both sides have made to resolve these complex and longstanding issues. We urge the president and his team to stay focused on striking a deal that meaningfully and sustainably addresses China’s problematic policies and provides stability and greater opportunity for U.S. businesses in China.” – ITI Senior Director of Policy Naomi Wilson

Retail Industry Leaders Association

“Tariffs are taxes American families pay — $24 billion and counting. Raising tariffs means raising taxes on millions of American families and inviting further retaliation on American farmers which jeopardizes domestic jobs. We want President Trump to successfully reach a deal with China that puts a check on anti-competitive behavior. But a deal that increases tariffs on everyday goods will be a loser for middle class families.” – RILA Vice President of International Trade Hun Quach

American Apparel & Footwear Association

“We strongly oppose the President’s announcement that he will continue to penalize American families, and add additional obstacles to economic growth, by imposing further tariffs on U.S. imports from China. As has been made clear by the Administration’s use of tariffs during the past year, tariffs are an additional tax burden placed on Americans. These taxes are not paid by foreign nations and they result in higher costs that are simply passed on to the American consumer. The tariffs described by the President – both those that would be increased to 25% on Friday, and those that would be added to consumer goods like clothing and shoes that are not currently being charged with punitive tariffs – will only hurt U.S. families, U.S. workers, U.S. companies, and the U.S. economy.

“We urge the President to refrain from imposing these additional tariffs and instead focus on negotiating and concluding the trade deal with China.” – AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein

Outdoor Industry Association

“Raising current tariffs to 25 percent and targeting a new group of products totaling $325 billion will be devastating to American families and businesses. Increased tariffs will greatly raise out-of-pocket costs on nearly everything Americans wear on a daily basis and put thousands of small and medium sized businesses at risk of going out of business. It’s critical that the trade dispute with China end quickly and fairly, and that we see all the tariffs removed. We urge the Administration to stay at the negotiating table to get it done.” – OIA Vice President of Government Affairs Patricia Rojas Ungar

Auto Care Association

“The Auto Care Association urges President Trump not to follow through on his threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion in imported goods from China as soon as this week. The proposed sudden increase from 10% to 25% would have an immediate negative impact on not only the U.S. businesses that manufacture and distribute these parts, but the motoring public who will see higher prices on a wide range of products, including important safety-related components. In 2018, China was the second largest source of auto parts imported into the U.S., second only to Mexico and totaling over $20.1 billion worth of product. Furthermore, the president’s suggestion that a 25% tariff could be levied on an additional $325 billion in imports from China, without knowing which goods would be impacted, creates even more uncertainty for the business community. “While the Auto Care Association supports the Trump administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trade practices and is encouraged by recent progress made through trade talks, we oppose the use of tariffs as a negotiating strategy. U.S. companies and consumers end up bearing the brunt of these ‘taxes’ on imported product through disrupted supply chains, increased prices and job losses.” – Auto Care Association President andCEO Bill Hanvey

American Chemistry Council

“U.S. chemical manufacturers support comprehensive and sensible trade policy solutions that help us maximize our competitive advantage, grow our exports and create jobs. The risks of continuing to use tariffs as a negotiating tactic with China are simply too high – and any potential benefits still unclear. China supplies the United States with several chemicals which are not available anywhere else and which are critical inputs to U.S. manufacturing. China is also the third-largest export market for U.S. chemicals manufacturers. Future growth for our industry depends on a strong trading relationship with China and a trade policy that creates certainty and predictability for investors – not a looming threat of more or higher tariffs. 

“We are starting to see signs that the tariffs are disrupting supply chains, cutting off markets, and eroding U.S. chemical manufacturing competitiveness. Although chemical imports from China grew by 22.7 percent in 2018, the retaliatory tariffs significantly dampened U.S. chemical exports to China, resulting in only a 2.7 percent increase in 2018 – nearly tripling the chemicals trade deficit, from $1.4 billion to $4.0 billion. Year-over-year performance deteriorated most dramatically in the fourth quarter, with chemical exports declining 24 percent to our industry’s third largest export market in China. We believe the surge in imports is a direct result of companies stocking inventories before each new Section 301 tariff hike went into effect.  “ACC and its members strongly urge President Trump to remain focused on sensible solutions with China this week and forgo the imposition of higher tariffs.” – ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley

Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America

“The facts of the matter have not changed — import duties are taxes on Americans and will take away disposable income from U.S. consumers. Higher costs for our consumers will hurt our ability to sell shoes and directly impact jobs in our industry. With this most recent tariff threat, the President seems to be trying to create some urgency in the trade talks and provide last-minute leverage for U.S. negotiators. This is a big week with the potential of a comprehensive trade deal between the U.S. and China. We strongly urge both countries to put an end to this trade war and develop a concrete agreement that restores some certainty to this vitally important trade relationship.” – FDRA President and CEO Matt Priest

Precious Metals Association of North America

“The PMANA is deeply concerned with the President’s tweets indicating a tariff increase on imports and raw materials critical to our domestic supply chain.

“We fully support the President in his mission to hold China accountable for their many unfair trade practices – including the rampant production of counterfeit precious metals bars, coins, and jewelry. However, placing a tax on domestic refiners and manufacturers is counterproductive to accomplishing this goal.

“Tariffs are not paid by China. They are taxes paid by American families and businesses. Placing an additional tax on hard-working Americans in the precious metals industry will put thousands of jobs at-risk and weaken our domestic supply chain. “We urge Members of Congress to call on the President to carefully reconsider his plan, and that they work expeditiously to safeguard American families and businesses from any future tariff increase.”

Snowsports Industries America

“We know that increased tariffs will lead to higher prices, passed from manufacturers to retailers, and ultimately to consumers. This is not a pro-growth strategy.  Snowsports Industries America (SIA) feels strongly that if the list three tariffs are enacted, we’ll see our local retail businesses suffer the most so we strongly urge the Administration to continue discussions to avoid this reactive and dangerous approach.”  – SIA President and CEO Nick Sargent

The Toy Association

“The return of a dark tariff cloud threatening the toy and retail communities would sharply increase the cost of toys and cause irreparable harm to companies of all sizes – particularly American small businesses. “We have not relented in our fight against the threat of tariffs and will continue to push back on these damaging tactics that amount to nothing more than a tax on American families and their children and will lead to projected losses of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. To be clear, China is not paying a penny of tariffs; rather, U.S. companies and American families are, through decreased profits and higher consumer prices.”
The Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association

If the President follows through on his threat to increase tariffs on Chinese goods to 25 percent, the consequences will be dire and could cost lives. The real effect of these tariffs is that essential and often life-saving baby products will become prohibitively expensive for many or even unavailable, forcing families to choose options that aren’t as safe for their babies, like secondhand products or unsafe sleep environments. JPMA urges the President to consider the potentially catastrophic impact of these tariffs on America’s children. JPMA Executive Director Kelly Mariotti