According to a report from the Washington Post, President Donald Trump is considering yet another wave of tariffs aimed at China, which has American manufacturers and farmers stunned after the economic battering they have already sustained during his trade wars.
The Post reports that the Trump administration is considering new tariffs on virtually all imports from China, which is receiving major pushback from representatives attending hearings being held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
The report states the agency has been overwhelmed with over 1,600 written comments on the plan, with the majority warning of more economic damage and job losses to come if the president goes through with his plan.
According to Ohio-based bra manufacturer Mark Corrado, president of Leading Lady, Trump is putting him in a major financial — and logistical – – bind.
“If we are forced to move production from China, it will take a long time to make sure that new factories will make the garment correctly and can get the proper materials. The costs may be too great too, as we are barely profitable now,” he wrote to the agency.
According to an economics professor at Western Washington University, manufacturers have been biting their tongues and holding fire on the putatively business-friendly president, but they are losing patience as profits shrink.
“The tone has changed since the Mexican tariff episode,” explained Edward Alden. “The level of concern in business is going up and the willingness to challenge the president more directly on this issue is increasing.”
“Companies have tried to shield customers from tariff increases, but that will no longer be possible,” added John Veroneau, a former U.S. trade negotiator under President George W. Bush. “To the extent possible, companies are working hard to diversify supply chains, but it’s easier said than done.”
The Post notes that Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, has defended Trump’s tariffs saying last Thursday that their effect on consumers would be “very, very small,” only to have retail giants Costco and Walmart fire back that same day, saying, “the tariffs would destroy 2 million U.S. jobs and cost the average family $2,000 each year.”
In a joint statement, 661 companies complained, ““We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy. Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices. Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies, including those listed below — not China.”
You can read more here.