Trump Es­ca­lates Us-china Trade War, Forges Ahead With $200bn Tar­iff

Shoes & Accessories - - The Month That Was | Updates I International -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has dramatically es­ca­lated the U.s.-china trade war again. In a new an­nounce­ment, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said it iden­ti­fied an ad­di­tional $200 bil­lion worth of U.S. im­ports from China to be hit with a 10 per­cent tar­iff. While the list doesn’t in­clude footwear, it does cite select hand­bags, travel prod­ucts and other ac­ces­sories.

Trump first threat­ened the move last month, but the list re­vealed in­di­cates he’s se­ri­ous about mov­ing for­ward.

“With the an­nounce­ment tonight, it is im­pos­si­ble to see how Amer­i­can fam­i­lies and con­sumers are not im­pacted with higher prices,” said Matt Priest, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Footwear Dis­trib­u­tors & Re­tail­ers of Amer­ica. “This will hurt our econ­omy and take away dis­pos­able in­come from con­sumers who could buy more shoes. While footwear was not on this new round of tar­iffs an­nounced to­day, our in­dus­try, the Amer­i­can footwear in­dus­try, is very fa­mil­iar with the neg­a­tive im­pact tar­iffs have on con­sumer goods.”

Priest said that in 2017 alone, the in­dus­try paid $1.5 bil­lion in du­ties on footwear from China. “It is time the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion sits down with its Chi­nese coun­ter­parts to set­tle this trade war so that Amer­i­cans from all walks of life aren’t left with the bill,” Priest said.

Fol­low­ing the news, Asian mar­kets were brac­ing for a tu­mul­tuous Wed­nes­day trad­ing ses­sion, and U.S. fu­tures are down sig­nif­i­cantly.

“This move by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, though ex­pected, will not do any­thing to help Amer­i­can work­ers, Amer­i­can con­sumers, or Amer­i­can busi­nesses,” said Rick Helfen­bein, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Amer­i­can Ap­parel and Footwear As­so­ci­a­tion. “By in­clud­ing items such as hand­bags, hats, and tex­tiles on this ad­di­tional list of prod­ucts, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has shown that it is not con­cerned about tar­get­ing the Amer­i­can pub­lic with its ‘Trump Tax.’ This will re­sult in in­fla­tion­ary costs through­out the sup­ply chain, ul­ti­mately paid for by Amer­i­can con­sumers.

The AAFA urged the ad­min­is­tra­tion to “re­fo­cus on re­solv­ing the un­der­ly­ing is­sue with China, rather than find­ing new and cre­ative ways to tax Amer­i­cans.”

China’s foreign min­istry con­firmed that re­tal­ia­tory du­ties took ef­fect im­me­di­ately there­after. “In or­der to de­fend the core in­ter­ests of the coun­try and the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple, we are forced to re­tal­i­ate,” the Asian coun­try’s Min­istry of Com­merce said in a state­ment.

Be­yond its own tar­iff hikes of up to 25 per­cent on cer­tain goods, Chi­nese ports have re­port­edly stalled ship­ments com­ing in from the U.S., lead­ing to costly de­lays and con­fu­sion among busi­nesses on both sides of the stand­off.

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