U.S. begins tariff exemption process for certain goods

Mar 20, 2018, 04:09
U.S. begins tariff exemption process for certain goods

Several large US retail companies, including Wal-Mart Inc WMT.N , Target Corp TGT.N , Best Buy Co Inc BBY.N and Macy's Inc M.N , on Monday sent President Donald Trump a letter urging him not to impose massive tariffs on goods imported from China.

The letter, sent by RILA and signed by a wide array of popular and well-known, leading U.S. retailers clearly shows the lack of support from the group of Trump's proposed tariffs on China imports into the country.

Four administration officials confirmed to WaPo the tariffs will be applied to more than 100 products the president argues were developed "by using trade secrets the Chinese stole from USA companies or forced them to hand over in exchange for market access". The coalition includes groups representing retailers and makers of everything from toys to wine, while the council represents companies including Amazon, Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

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RILA's president, Sandy Kennedy, meanwhile said tariff could hurt the USA retail industry.

After Bloomberg News earlier this month reported the options being considered, Trump tweeted that "the U.S.is acting swiftly on intellectual property theft".

Tariffs on electronics, clothing and other products would raise prices for consumers and businesses, negating gains from the tax cuts passed by Congress late a year ago, the business coalition said. By itself, the United Kingdom accounts for just 1 percent of US steel imports and some of that is used for American defense purposes, he said. After a major tax reform victory, widespread tariffs on everyday consumer goods will wipe out much of the benefits realized by the average American household.

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Canada and Mexico are exempted from both tariffs, though officials have warned that this could change.

The 45 groups include some of the biggest USA industries, including the Consumer Technology Association and the National Retail Federation, whose members include large corporations including Walmart (WMT) and Apple (APPL). Tariffs of 10 percent would reduce U.S, output by $163 billion over the next decade, while a 25 percent penalty would curb output by $332 billion over the same period, according to the foundation.

U.S. officials should "work with like-minded partners to address common concerns with China's trade and investment policies", the letter reads. China has vowed to take retaliatory measures in response.

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