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Retailers To Trump: No Chinese Tariffs

Best Buy, Walmart and 23 other national chains are imploring the president to re-think his import duties.

More than two dozen national retail chains including Best Buy, Costco, JCPenney, Sears, Target and Walmart have co-signed a letter to President Trump imploring him to re-think his proposed tariffs on Chinese imports.

The duties, intended to punish China for harmful tech and intellectual property practices, would be levied on a wide swath of consumer products including electronics and home goods.

The letter, dated today, was organized by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a trade group comprised of top merchants from more than 200 companies that generate over $1.5 trillion in annual sales. It was also supported by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

In a statement, RILA president Sandy Kennedy described the retaliatory tariffs as a hidden tax on Americans that could derail the economic recovery and offset any benefits from tax reform.

See: A Taxing Question For Dealers

Added NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay, “As the industry closest to consumers, retailers know firsthand how high tariffs will hurt American families. If the administration’s latest proposal goes into effect, Americans will see price increases on a wide range of basic products they purchase regularly at their local stores.”  

Wrote the signatories themselves, “As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices. We must do right by American families while also addressing harmful technology practices.”

The letter follows a petition issued yesterday by 45 trade associations spanning tech, retail, agriculture and consumer goods asking the Trump administration to delay the import duties until the affected U.S. industries could review the proposals and comment on any potential economic impact, the Wall Street Journal reported. The tariffs could be imposed on at least $30 billion of Chinese imports annually, the newspaper said.

Word of the levies follows President Trump’s separate call for stiff tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. Like the latest sanctions, that measure was decried by a broad spectrum of industry, including the NRF and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

See: Retailers, Vendors Denounce Trump Metal Tariffs