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U.S. industry groups denounce mounting tariffs on Chinese imports

WASHINGTON, May 15, (Xinhua/GNA) - Several U.S. groups representing a variety of industries have denounced Washington's recent move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports.

The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump increased the additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday, and has threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports.

The new tariff measures are "catastrophic for the U.S. economy," said the American Apparel and Footwear Association in a statement released Monday, adding that it is "severely disappointed" by the latest tariff threat, which covers products "including clothing, shoes, and other textiles."

It estimated that a U.S. family of four would be charged additional 500 dollars per year to cover these tariffs on clothing, shoes, travel goods, and related items.

"This is a self-inflicted wound that will be catastrophic for the nation's economy," said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the association.

"By tightening the noose and pulling more consumer items into the trade war, the President has shown that he is not concerned with raising taxes on American families, or threatening millions of American jobs that are dependent on global value chains," he added.

According to the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), a Washington-based trade association representing companies from the information and communications technology industry, additional tariffs are counterproductive.

"The tariffs in force have already hurt consumers, rattled supply chains for U.S. manufacturers and businesses, and created uncertainty across economies," said Naomi Wilson, ITI's senior director of policy for Asia.  

"Additional tariffs threaten to needlessly escalate this conflict and diminish the prospects for addressing longstanding trade issues with China," Wilson added.

As the China-U.S. trade tensions drag on, U.S. farmers have become increasingly impatient, especially those that grow soybeans - one of the major U.S. export products to China.

"U.S. soybean farmers remain frustrated by the lack of progress between the United States and China in resolving the trade war, which continues to immediately threaten soy prices and, if not resolved, farmers' ability to stay in business," the American Soybean Association (ASA) said in a statement.

The ASA has consistently opposed using unilateral tariffs to address U.S. trade deficits with China and other countries, said the statement.

"Instead, ASA supports the negotiation of trade agreements and other measures that can increase U.S. agricultural exports, including soybeans."

For soybean growers, the fact that no deal was reached yet after 11 rounds of consultation with China on trade disputes means that "we're losing," said ASA President Davie Stephens, who is also a soy grower from Clinton, Kentucky.

He said it took U.S. soybean farmers over 40 years to build the market in China, but now the Chinese market "will become increasingly difficult to recover" as the trade conflict continues.

"We've been understanding during this negotiation process, but we cannot withstand another year in which our most important foreign market continues to slip away," said John Heisdorffer, ASA Chairman and soy grower from Keota, Iowa.

The Consumer Technology Association said tech products account for more than half of the 300 billion dollars' worth of products that are now subject to the administration's new tariff threat.

"This immense round of tariffs is exponentially worse for our country," it said. "China is one of the top export markets for American technology - and its retaliatory tariffs will choke U.S. job creation and global sales for American manufacturers and innovators."

Tariffs are taxes paid by Americans, not China, said the association.

"Raising tariffs in this questionably legal fashion hurts American families, workers and businesses."

The National Retail Federation said, "Slapping tariffs on everything U.S. companies import from China -- goods that support U.S. manufacturing and provide consumers with affordable products - will jeopardize American jobs and increase costs for consumers."

The federation cited an estimate by the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign as saying that imposing tariffs of 25 percent on all remaining imports from China, combined with the impact of retaliation, would jeopardize more than 2 million American jobs, cost the average U.S. family 2,300 dollars each year and reduce the value of U.S. GDP by 1 percent.

In response to the U.S. move to increase additional tariffs on 200 billion dollars' worth of Chinese goods, China on Monday announced that it will raise additional tariffs on a range of U.S. imports from June 1.

"China doesn't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in Beijing on Tuesday. "If someone brings the war to our doorstep, we will fight to the end." 

GNA


Source: GNA Story (https://ghananewsagency.org/world/u-s-industry-groups-denounce-mounting-tariffs-on-chinese-imports-149828)
Published: 2019-05-15 14:54:37
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