US business calls on Trump to avoid imposing $200B in tariffs on Chinese products

US business calls on Trump to avoid imposing $200B in tariffs on Chinese products
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A coalition of business groups are urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE to avoid further escalation of trade tensions with China and not impose another round of tariffs.

The National Retail Federation and 150 organizations representing manufacturers, farmers, technology and natural gas companies told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods will cause widespread damage across the U.S. economy.

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“Continuing the tit-for-tat tariff escalation with China only serves to expand the harm to more U.S. economic interests, including farmers, families, businesses and workers,” the coalition wrote in a letter.

“Our organizations agree that longstanding issues in China have negatively impacted many U.S. companies, and we support the administration’s efforts to negotiate meaningful, binding and long-term solutions with the Chinese government ... [but] applying these high levels of tariffs on Chinese products will continue to miss the mark," the groups wrote.

The U.S. and China have already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of each other's imports.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that it would follow through on its promise to slap tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. products if Trump moves ahead with the $200 billion.

“If the United States, regardless of opposition, adopts any new tariff measures, China will be forced to roll out necessary retaliatory measures,” he told reporters.

The Trump administration may impose upward of 25 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as this week.

The groups expressed concern at the Trump administration’s suggestion that the United States might impose tariffs on all Chinese imports coming into the United States.

“The effects of the administration’s actions will most hurt the very consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, manufacturers, farmers and workers the administration wants to protect,” the letter said.

“Should all trade to and from China be subject to tariffs, the impacts and disruptions to the U.S. economy would reach across the entire country, from sector to sector, and negatively impact every American family.”

Imposing a 25 percent tariff on a total of $250 billion in Chinese imports — including both tariffs that have already gone into effect this summer and those currently under consideration — would result in $62.5 billion in tariff costs for U.S. businesses and consumers each year, the letter said.

By contrast, the U.S. government collected only $33 billion in total tariffs on all imports in 2017.