- Marjorie van Elven |
Over 600 American companies, including Target, Walmart, Columbia Sportswear, Levi Strauss & Co., Macy’s and Urban Outfitters, have signed a letter urging the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to resolve the trade dispute with China.
Sent by Tariffs Hurt The Heartland, a national campaign against tariffs supported by more than 150 trade groups representing the agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tech industries, the letter praises the administration’s efforts to improve the country’s competitiveness by addressing “unfair” trading practices and “longstanding structural issues”. However, the 600 companies are concerned about the “escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs” which, in their view, will have a “negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers and the US economy”.
“Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies, including those listed below -- not China”, notes the letter, quoting a report by Trade Partnership Worldwide which states that 25 percent tariffs on an additional 300 billion US dollars in imports, combined with the impact of already implemented tariffs and retaliation, would result in the loss of over 2 million US jobs. The changes would also add more than 2,000 US dollars in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of the US GDP by 1 percent.
“Furthermore”, the letter argues, “we have seen repeatedly that tariff increases and uncertainty around these trade negotiations have created turmoil in the markets, threatening our historic economic growth”.
American and Chinese officials will meet in three weeks to discuss the situation, but it seems unlikely that the two countries will be able to reach a compromise then. “An escalated trade war is not in the country’s best interest, and both sides will lose”, says the letter. “We are counting on you to force a positive resolution that removes the current tariffs, fosters American competitiveness, grows our economy and protects our workers and customers”.