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HomeNewsIndustry organizations react to plans for new 10% tariff

Industry organizations react to plans for new 10% tariff

2019-08-05

New York – Industry organizations reacted quickly Thursday to President Trump`s plans to add a 10% tariff to the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports into the U.S.

Trump made the announcement via Twitter Thursday mid morning, stating the [small, additional" tariff will kick in on September 1st.

No official notice from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) had been issued at press time.

The news has taken the home textiles industry – not to mention, Wall Street and the Chinese government – by surprise.

[This is completely unexpected, but that`s to be expected with Mr. Trump," Home Fashion Products Association (HFPA) legal counsel Robert Leo told HTT. [It came out of nowhere because the recent [trade] talks [with China] were constructive-[Trump] has given himself 30 days to change his mind overnight again, if China ramps up imports on agricultural products in meantime."

Soon after Trump`s tweet, Leo issued an email blast to HFPA members alerting them of the new development.

The [big problem" with this change, he continued, is the lack of details thus far. For example, it is unclear if shipments already en route that could arrive on or after September 1st would be exempt.

This new development is disheartening, particularly to home textiles companies, [who have spent a lot of time and money and effort to submit comments and testify before [USTR] and the trade committee on excepting their products from List 4. This tweet says nothing about that. In fact, it makes it sound like everything on List 4 will be taxed the 10% tariff."

HFPA president Jeff Kaufman, who also serves as president/chief operating officer of Avanti Linens, called the move [very disappointing, after what we thought was a path to get this resolved. We`ll wait to get all the details on when it is going to be implemented and what, if any, grace period there will be."

He told HTT the organization is still waiting to hear back on its requested exemptions for List 4.

Thursday afternoon, the National Retail Federation (NRF) also issued a statement in response to Trump`s tweet, citing [slowing U.S. economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment" as the result of a [flawed tariff strategy."

David French, NRF`s senior vice president of government relations, elaborated: [The tariffs imposed over the past year haven`t worked, and there`s no evidence another tax increase on American businesses and consumers will yield new results. We urge the administration to bring our allies to the table and find new tools beyond tariffs to achieve better trade relations-These additional tariffs will only threaten U.S. jobs and raise costs for American families on everyday goods."

In support of the new 10% tariff is National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). The Washington, D.C.-based trade association, which represents domestic textile manufacturers, sent out its statement later in the day.

The organization argued Chinese imports of finished goods into the U.S. market have had [the most significant impact and disruption on domestic textile and apparel production, investment and jobs, will finally be included in the administration`s retaliatory tariffs."

NCTO estimates finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5% of U.S. imports from China, while fiber, yarn and fabric imports from China only represent 6.5%.

[China`s rampant abuse of intellectual property [IP] rights and IP theft has gone on far too long at the direct expense of the U.S. textile industry and its supply chain, resulting in the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs in this critical sector," said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. [We believe this move will lead to more re-shoring of production to the United States and the Western Hemisphere production platform-and will also address and mitigate China`s rampant trade distortions."

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