American could end up paying more for virtually everything they use in their daily lives – from cradles to coffins, if US president Donald Trump goes on to impose the threatened tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, claimed a broad cross-section of U.S. businesses.
While the earlier list for tariffs were drawn up carefully to avoid imposing tariffs on goods that impact the American consumers directly and focused more on Chinese industrial machinery, electronic components and other intermediate goods, the new list of tariffs includes thousands of consumer products which if tariffed would most probably directly hit consumers by late September.
Chinese seafood, furniture and lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles and car seats for babies and many others are included in the list of Chinese goods worth $200 billion which are to tariffed next.
“USTR’s proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports dramatically expands the harm to American consumers, workers, businesses, and the economy,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony for the hearing for the nest round of tariffs.
While calling for “serious discussions” with Beijing, a top U.S. business lobbying group was quote din the media as saying that there was a lack of a “coherent strategy” with the Trump administration in to tackle the issue of China’s theft of intellectual property and other trade practices that are harmful for the American businesses.
A meeting is expected to be held this week in Washington between mid-level Trump administration officials and Chinese. The meeting is expected to deal with the ongoing trade dispute.
During the public hearings for the next round of tariffs proposed to be imposed, the USTR will show over 1,400 written comments submitted to the organization. In most of the comments, there is a single line of echoing tone which states that the tariffs will result in harm and higher costs for products starting with Halloween costumes and Christmas lights to nuclear fuel inputs. There was however a smaller section of letters who were in favor of the tariffs and even asked them to be extended.
Tariffs “will have a direct negative impact on our company, American parents and most importantly the safety of American children”, said Graco Children’s Products Inc, a unit of Newell Brands Inc.
Some parents might be driven to the second hand market for purchase of Graco Children’s Products Inc, a unit of Newell Brands Inc said because of the higher prices, the company said.
“The proposed tariffs may force parents to use unsafe sleeping environments or let children dangerously co-sleep with parents,” Graco wrote. The tariff “only causes a children safety issue; it will not convince China to change its policies.”
The tariffs “would cause disproportionate economic harm to American internet companies. The list includes products that impact how internet companies function”, said the Internet Association which has the likes of Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc as its members.
It relies on imports from China of zirconium and zirconium powders – which are critical elements for tubes that are used in nuclear fuel assemblies which are used in its plants in in Utah, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, said Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the leading U.S. nuclear fuel producer.
More tariffs could create “grave economic distortions”, said U.S.-China Business Council President Craig Allen, while speaking to reporters in Beijing on Monday.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)