US trade groups warn against tariffs on China

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The letter came after the Trump administration was reportedly considering tariffs on 30-60 billion USA dollars of annual Chinese imports for China's alleged "unfair trade practices".

Major retailers from across the United States, including Menomonee Falls-based Kohl's Corp., have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to impose tariffs on goods imported from China.

The groups represent companies, such as Apple Inc., Google and Wal-Mart Inc.

The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing´s intellectual property and investment practices.

After placing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Mr. Trump is reportedly considering tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, covering electronics, apparel and footwear and some transportation equipment.

The tariffs would also ripple through the US health care and education sectors, the trade groups said, because these industries rely on consumer electronics and imported goods and would face higher costs. "Given the price sensitivity of our products, any additional increases in our costs would strike right at the heart of our ability to keep product competitively priced for our consumers". The tariffs would not need approval from Congress.

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The White House declined to comment Monday.

U.S. officials should "work with like-minded partners to address common concerns with China's trade and investment policies", the letter reads. The business groups said while they had serious concerns about China's approach to trade, unilateral tariffs by the United States would only separate the country from allies, and encourage them to replace the U.S. business presence in China when Beijing retaliates.

"These procedures will allow the Administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries", Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a DOC statement Sunday.

The letter was signed by 24 companies also including Abercrombie & Fitch Co, American Eagle Outfitters, Big Lots, Chico's FAS, Inc, Columbia Sportswear, Costco, Dollar Tree, Gap Inc, Haverty´s Furniture Co, JCPenney, Jo-Ann Stores LLC, Kohl´s Department Stores, Inc, Ikea North America Services, LLC, Levi Strauss and Co.

The letter asked the administration to work with companies to find a solution.