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Home / US / Companies warn more China tariffs will cripple them and hurt consumers

Companies warn more China tariffs will cripple them and hurt consumers

WASHINGTON – As the US and China prepare to hold tough trade talks again this week, executives from American companies flocked to Washington on Monday to warn the Trump administration that the imposition of tariffs on additional Chinese goods was worth it $ 200 billion would paralyze their businesses and raise prices for everything from bicycles to car seats to refrigerators. Dozens of companies voiced concerns to trade officials during the first of six days of hearings on the government's plan to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on a wide range of Chinese imports. The duration of the hearing of the United States Trade Representative, which initially lasted only three days, has been doubled to accommodate the leaders of nearly 400 companies and trading groups, who will testify in the hope of the final list of tariff-based products.

While the companies that appeared before the government panel were very different, their concerns had a similar theme: the United States is no longer able to produce many of the materials they depend on for their products. The rise in global supply chains has shifted most of the production and production outside the United States, leaving businesses with no choice but to rely on foreign materials, including those from China.

Jim Day, vice president of the brand & # 47; said it would take at least a decade for the United States to develop the production capacity to make the hats he sells because such facilities were closed many years ago. If President Trump's rates continue, Mr. Day said, this would mean a job cut in his Massachusetts store.

"We support the President's desire to protect US companies, continue economic growth and bring jobs to the US, Mr. Day said." Our position is this proposed tariff increase would do the opposite. "

Mr Trump has said his tariffs are negotiating tactics to force China to lower its trade barriers, stop the theft of intellectual property and open its markets to United States companies, its trade policy that restricts tariffs on steel and metals Including aluminum from countries around the world is also aimed at attracting American manufacturing by outsourcing production abroad more cheaply.

But companies that are heavily dependent on Chinese imports will destroy many of the American companies where the president said he wants to help them.

Jennifer Harned, president of Bell Sports, which manufactures helmets for cyclists and skaters, said their company's tariffs would adjust to pads and straps from China

"We fear that consumers might refrain from using products altogether, ignoring safety regulations by: For example, they do not buy a bike light and get hit by a car because a driver does not. Watch them or not wear a helmet and die from an impact on their skull, "said Ms. Harned, whose Illinois-based company employs 500 workers.

Others suggested that national health care costs could be inflated by the Trump tariffs if the price of fitness products makes the $ 600 treadmill inaccessible or even makes basic sporting goods unreachable.

Tom Cove of the sports and fitness industry association said 10 to 25 percent tariffs on plastic youth Baseball gloves could prevent children from taking up the game and being involved with exercise activities in general. He argued that raising the cost of long-term formation would be detrimental to the United States economy.

"There is no point in raising prices for products that would otherwise help reduce national healthcare spending." Mr. Cove said.

And, he added, finding alternatives to China or producing such products domestically is not the answer for companies that have been relying on Chinese manufacturing for decades.

"China remains a vital and not easily replaceable link in our supply chain," said Mr. Cove. "Relocating production to other countries is simply not possible or scalable in real time."

Economists have warned that the buzzing American economy could slow if the United States waged a lengthy trade war with China. The government has already imposed $ 34 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and those receiving an additional $ 16 billion are expected to enter into force on Thursday. China has responded with its own tariffs on American products, and neither country has shown signs that it is ready to let up.

A delegation of Chinese middle-ranking officials arrives this week at a new round of trade talks on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington with US economic policy-makers at the Treasury, but little progress is expected. In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Mr. Trump said he has "no time frame" to end the trade dispute with China.

The tariffs discussed this week would hit products like fish, kerosene, chemicals, handbags, and more, wide range of items that affect consumer products. This month, Mr Trump ordered his government to more than double the proposed tariffs from 10% to 25%, out of frustration that earlier tariffs did not force China to submit. If imposed, companies and consumers could feel the pain ahead of November's midterm elections.

The White House is "unshakable in its view that the US will" win "this trade war and that the Chinese government must surrender," said Henrietta Treyz, economic policy director at Veda Partners, an investment advisory firm, a statement said to the customers. "We have no evidence that China agrees to surrender in this way and that tariffs will not end in the near future."

Speaking Monday at the United States International Trade Commission, business leaders said they had understood Mr. Trump's desire to negotiate a more favorable trade agreement with China, but these tariffs were a misguided approach.

Some officials there represented companies that are not yet on the tariff list, but feared that they might be the next. Among them was Stephen Lang, president of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, who said that it is impossible to find people in the United States to make the elaborate beads and sewing necessary for the making of prom and bridal gowns in the United States Large Scale Needed [196592002] "We can not do wedding dresses and prom dresses in the United States," said Mr. Lang, who said he feared what would happen if his industry got the next tariffs. "Nobody wants to do this job."

Mr. Lang, managing director of Mon Cheri Bridals New York, said he would have to change banks this year because his lender felt that tariffs were a risk to his business.

"I should settle for a poorly placed attempt to balance books between these two countries," he said.

Not every company represented at the hearing is expected to be in breach of the tariffs. On Friday Michael Korchmar, the owner of Korchmar, a leather specialty company, will talk about the pain that China has inflicted on its business.

"My company has been heavily influenced by China's predatory marketing practices for the last 38 years." The work of nearly 500 US manufacturing workers will cost, "Mr. Korchmar wrote in a letter asking for testimony Help us to rebuild our manufacturing in the US. "

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