Business groups urge Trump to delay tariff increases

Business groups urge Trump to delay tariff increases
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A free trade coalition is asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE to postpone all tariff rate increases on Chinese goods, which could go into effect as soon as Sunday.

Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of over 160 business organizations, wrote a letter to Trump on Wednesday to request the delay, citing concerns about cost increases for U.S. manufacturers and farmers. 

The coalition includes the National Retail Federation, the Consumer Technology Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Toy Association and American Petroleum Institute, among others.

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“Our coalition represents every part of the U.S. economy including manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, service suppliers, natural gas and oil companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. Collectively, we support tens of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains,” the letter reads.  

“Furthermore, because many of our industrial inputs are still sourced in China, these new tariffs will act as a tax on U.S. manufacturers and U.S. farmers, whose costs will now increase,” the group continued.

The coalition acknowledged Trump’s “frustration with China” but said such tariffs would hurt workers and consumers and have an adverse impact on the American economy.

“Ordering companies to leave China, the world’s second largest economy, is not a solution and is unrealistic. Although companies are taking steps to diversify their supply chains, developing overseas markets is critical to reaching the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S. and in return expanding opportunities for American workers and consumers,” the letter reads.

The latest proposed tariffs are set to start Sept. 1 and come amid an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Trump said the U.S. would increase tariffs on Chinese imports from 25 percent to 30 percent, and raise the rates on new tariffs scheduled to go into effect in September and December from 10 percent to 15 percent. The latest proposed tariffs will include apparel and electronics, among other items.

The president said he would delay some of the tariffs earlier this month, saying that he wanted to avoid hurting consumers over the upcoming holiday season. Still, the coalition said shoppers stand to be affected by the latest round of tariffs.