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US Trade Calls to Delay Tariff Hike

More than 160 business groups write open letter asking for postponement until after holiday season.
Sep 2, 2019 9:14 AM   By Rapaport News
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More than 160 trade groups urged US President Donald Trump to postpone further tax increases on Chinese goods imported to the US, fearing they would affect holiday sales.

“We are writing with an urgent request that you postpone all tariff-rate increases,” the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, which represents members of the industry, said in a letter last week. “[They] come at the worst possible time, right in the middle of the busy holiday…period. Action is needed by you to protect American businesses, workers and consumers.”

The appeal, signed by business groups including the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association and the Precious Metals Association of North America, comes in response to an announcement by the US government that tariffs are due to increase even further in October.

The US Trade Representative now intends to raise all 25% tariffs to 30% and all taxes that were previously 10% will be 15% beginning October 1, it said. These hikes are in addition to those that went into effect September 1. Further tariffs on other goods will be applied on December 15.

“A large portion of holiday merchandise will still be hit by September and October tariff increases at an even higher rate than was originally anticipated,” the letter noted. “With some products facing tariffs as high as 30%, many businesses will have no choice but to pass along those costs to consumers. Price increases will likely hit shoppers just as they are making their holiday purchases.”

While the businesses stated they were also opposed to China’s tariffs on the US, they said increasing US taxes so steeply, and leaving US retailers with too little time to source from other suppliers, was not an adequate solution.

“US consumers are driving the growth of the US economy,” the letter added. “Let’s ensure consumer confidence remains high and economic prosperity continues. A tariff delay is the gift you can give American families this holiday season.”

Image: Shoppers in a mall at Chirstmas. (Pixabay)
Tags: Americans for Free Trade Coalition, Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association, National Retail Federation, NRF, Precious Metals Association of North America, Rapaport News, Tariff Hike, US Trade Representative
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