Here’s what over 600 retailers have to say about Trump’s latest tariffs

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Here’s what over 600 retailers have to say about Trump’s latest tariffs

06/14/2019
The Trump administration increased its tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Major retailers, including Walmart, Costco Wholesale and Target, are putting their foot down on President Donald Trump’s tariff policy, warning him just how bad his latest tariffs on China will affect the American economy.

According to CNN Business, more than 600 companies wrote to the White House in hopes of persuading the president to end the trade war with China. Last month, the Trump administration increased its tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump has now threatened to impose tariffs an additional $300 billion in goods imported from China — including toys, clothes, shoes, appliances and televisions.

"We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative, and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy," the companies said in the letter, reported by CNN. "An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose."

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) David French warned back in May that American consumers would face higher prices and U.S. jobs would be lost if Trump made good on a threat to raise duties from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods. But Trump’s threat became reality and China subsequently announced that it will enact tariffs on more than 5,000 U.S. products in retaliation for Trump’s decision.

Hun Quach, vice president of international trade at the Arlington-based Retail Industry Leaders Association, compared tariffs to taxes.

“Raising tariffs means raising taxes on millions of American families and inviting further retaliation on American farmers, which jeopardizes domestic jobs,” Quach added. “We want President Trump to successfully reach a deal with China that puts a check on anti-competitive behavior. But a deal that increases tariffs on everyday goods will be a loser for middle-class families.”

Both Costco and Walmart have both already warned their customers of a potential price increase on products within its stores. Although a majority of Walmart’s sales come from its grocery department, it still imports approximately 26% of its merchandise from China.

"We're going to continue to do everything we can to keep prices low. That's who we are. However, increased tariffs will lead to increased prices, we believe, for our customers," Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told reporters on a call after the retailer reported earnings for the first quarter of 2019.

Costco said it will tackle the Trump administration’s recent tariff hike by importing goods from other countries and possibly having to increase its prices on products.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said on a post-earnings call with analysts that the situation is “pretty fluid,” and the company is looking to accelerate shipments before certain tariffs are put into effect.

“We want to be the last to raise them. And when prices are going down, we want to be the first to lower them. We’re not afraid to use some of those monies to again drive business,” Galanti said.

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