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NRF: Newest proposed tariff list ‘far too great a gamble’ for U.S. economy

Clothing, shoes and sporting goods are just a few of the $300 billion in Chinese goods the Trump Administration is considering hitting with tariffs as high as 25%.

The list of new items would hit retailers and consumers hard as it includes a long list of everyday, common consumer items. In a statement, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said that the latest tariff escalation is “far too great a gamble for the U.S. economy.”

“Slapping tariffs on everything U.S. companies import from China – goods that support U.S. manufacturing and provide consumers with affordable products – will jeopardize American jobs and increase costs for consumers,” Shay said. “Taxing Americans on everyday products like clothes and shoes is not the answer for holding China accountable. Working with our allies who share the same concerns and immediately rejoining TPP are more effective ways to put pressure on China without hurting hardworking Americans.”

In 2017, China accounted for about 41% of all apparel, 72% of all footwear and 84% of all travel goods imported into the U.S., according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), which represents nearly all shoe retailers, importers and the majority of domestic manufacturers, said the potential new tariffs would be “devastating” for the footwear industry.

"We simply cannot understand why President Trump would use American footwear consumers as a bargaining chip in his fight with China,” said FDRA president & CEO Matt Priest. “These added tariffs will drive up shoe prices for U.S. consumers, take away disposable income, and hit working class individuals and families the hardest. Higher costs for our consumers means we sell less shoes. This threatens jobs in our industry and could put U.S. footwear companies out of business.”

A study commissioned by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and prepared by Trade Partnership estimated that imposing tariffs of 25% on all remaining imports from China, combined with the impact of retaliation, would jeopardize more than 2 million American jobs, cost the average U.S. family of four $2,300 each year and reduce the value of U.S. GDP by 1%.
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