- President Donald Trump is proposing new 25% tariffs on Chinese imports.
- A hearing on the proposals starts in Washington on Monday.
- The US Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony that the new tariffs would “dramatically expand the harm to American consumers, workers, businesses, and the economy.”
- Furniture, lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles, cradles, and Chinese seafood are among the imports set to be hit by the new duties, Reuters reports.
The Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods could force Americans to pay more for items as varied as cradles and seafood, businesses have warned.
Monday features the first session of a planned six-day hearing in Washington on the proposed 25% tariffs, which are part of the Trump administration and US trade representative’s efforts to put pressure on Beijing.
The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents a wide range of American businesses, said in written testimony for the hearing that the new tariffs would “dramatically expand the harm to American consumers, workers, businesses, and the economy.”
Past rounds of sanctions have targeted mainly Chinese industrial machinery and intermediate goods, but the proposed tariffs could affect thousands of consumer products by late September, Reuters reports. Furniture, lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles, cradles, car seats, and seafood are all in line to be hit by the new duties.
The US Chamber of Commerce accused the Trump administration of lacking a “coherent strategy” to address its claims of rampant Chinese theft of intellectual property and other harmful trade practices, according to Reuters. It called for “serious discussions” with Beijing.
The Office of the US Trade Representative received more than 1,400 written comments from businesses about the Trump administration’s plan. Most businesses argued the tariffs would cause harm by raising costs on products and services.
The largest bicycle brand in the US, Huffy, said a 25% tariff posed a “serious threat to the company.” It sells 4 million Chinese-made bikes a year.
“There is no other country in Asia or Europe that can provide the volume Huffy requires as China is the largest bicycle producer in the world,” Bill Smith, the CEO of Huffy Corp., said in his submission.
Graco Children’s Products, which makes car seats for infants, said there would be an increase in customers buying secondhand items for their children.
The company said the tariffs would “have a direct negative impact on our company, American parents, and most importantly the safety of American children.”
Trump administration officials and their Chinese counterparts are expected to meet later this week in Washington to discuss their trade dispute.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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