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US companies urge Trump to scrap new China tariffs, calling them a ‘job killer’ for Americans

US companies urge Trump to scrap new China tariffs, calling them a ‘job killer’ for Americans
More than 200 footwear manufacturers and retailers, including Nike and Foot Locker, called on US President Donald Trump to cancel the proposed higher tariffs on Chinese imports that take effect next month.

The companies signed a letter warning that the new tariffs could cost US consumers an additional $4 billion a year and increase the chances of an economic downturn.

“Imposing tariffs in September on the majority of all footwear products from China — including nearly every type of leather shoe — will make it impossible for hardworking American individuals and families to escape the harm that comes from these tax increases,” the companies told Trump in a letter seen by Reuters.

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According to the letter, “There is no doubt that tariffs act as hidden taxes paid by American individuals and families.”

Around 160 other trade groups, including software and electronics manufacturers, as well as retailers, liquor producers, and others, have also warned Trump of higher prices and damaged consumer confidence.

“We’ve been telling the White House since the beginning that tariffs will be paid by Americans in the form of higher prices, and that due to our already high import taxes, this will be a job killer,” Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, said in a statement.

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The Information Technology Industry Council, which has agreed that China needs to change its unfair trade practices, said in a statement Wednesday that “the current tool of tariffs has simply not worked, and we’re continuing to see the negative results.”

On Wednesday, the US Trade Representative’s Office reaffirmed Trump’s plans to impose an additional five-percent tariff on a $300-billion list of Chinese imports starting September 1 and December 15. Washington previously planned to impose a 10-percent tariff on these imports.

According to the footwear companies, an added 15-percent tariff will come on top of tariffs that already average 11 percent and reach 67 percent on some shoes.

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