Trade groups tell Trump his China tariffs risk a “chain reaction”

More than 40 trade groups are petitioning the Trump administration to back away from tariffs on Chinese imports, saying the plan would “would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy.”

The 45 groups include some of the biggest U.S. industries, including the Consumer Technology Association and the National Retail Federation, whose members include large corporations including Walmart (WMT) and Apple (APPL). In a letter sent to President Donald Trump on Sunday, the trade groups urged the administration to rely on other strategies for addressing China’s business practices.

After placing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Mr. Trump is reportedly considering tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, covering electronics, apparel and footwear and some transportation equipment. The president has pointed to America’s $375 billion trade deficit with China and accused the country of stealing intellectual property from American companies doing business there.

American consumers would end up paying more if tariffs are imposed, the trade groups warned.

“Tariffs on electronics, apparel, and other consumer products would increase prices for U.S. consumers and businesses, while doing little to address the fundamental challenges posed by unfair and discriminatory Chinese trade practices,” they said in the letter.

The Trump administration’s decision on tariffs may come in the next few weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. The groups are asking the administration to allow industry assocations to comment on tariffs before that happens.

The tariffs would also ripple through the U.S. health care and education sectors, the trade groups said, because these industries rely on consumer electronics and imported goods and would face higher costs. Consumers might respond to by buying less, which would in turn crimp the financial markets, they added.

“We urge the Administration not to impose tariffs,” the letter said, “and to work with the business community to find an effective, but measured, solution to China’s protectionist trade policies and practices that protects American jobs and competitiveness.”

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Author; Aimee Picchi
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