President Donald Trump threatened increased tariffs as progress on U.S.-China trade talks slows.
In a two-part tweet on Sunday, the president said that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will rise from 10% to 25% on Friday. He additionally threatened to set a 25% tariff on $325 billion of currently untaxed goods.
“These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results,” he said.
“The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China,” he wrote. “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
While the president’s tweets suggest that the Chinese government is paying tariffs, manufacturers are the ones who foot the bill — with the prices then being passed onto consumers.
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Reports have suggested that the U.S. and Beijing are close on reaching a deal, with some saying an agreement could be made as soon as Friday.
If Trump’s threat of a jump from 10% to 25% tariffs is true, it could lead to negative consequences for consumers, according to Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA) president and CEO Matt Priest.
“The President seems to be trying to create some urgency in the forthcoming talks and provide last-minute leverage for U.S. negotiators. If that’s all this is, we hope for a quick and concrete agreement that restores some certainty to this vitally important trade relationship,” he said. “If it ultimately leads to an increase of duties from 10% to 25% on the most recent list, this will be very troubling. While this threatened action would still not include footwear, the facts of the matter have not changed — import duties are taxes on Americans and will take away disposable income from consumers. It’s really important that this all comes to an end, very soon.”
The American Apparel and Footwear Association released a statement condemning the president’s plans.
“We strongly oppose the President’s announcement that he will continue to penalize American families, and add additional obstacles to economic growth, by imposing further tariffs on U.S. imports from China,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO. “As has been made clear by the Administration’s use of tariffs during the past year, tariffs are an additional tax burden placed on Americans.”
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