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Retailers Beg for Tariff Threats to Stop - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Retail Giants Ask Administration to Stop Tariff Threats

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By Carlos Gamino

More than 600 companies, including Walmart, Macy’s, Target and Gap wrote an open letter to the president to ask him to stop threatening tariffs and end the trade war with China in mid-June. 

The companies wrote in a letter that also went to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, “We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs. 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.”

In the letter, the companies also outlined how tariffs work – and how they don’t “punish” other countries, but American consumers instead. “Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies,” the letter says, “including those listed below – not China.”

According to the letter, the threatened tariffs will result in the loss of more than 2 million U.S. jobs, add more than $2,000 in costs for the average American family of four, and reduce the U.S.’s gross domestic product by 1 percent. 

As of this writing, the U.S. has levied tariffs on at least $250 billion worth of imports from China, and the administration is currently considering expanding them by as much as 25 percent. The president tweeted, “Tariffs are NOW being paid to the United States by China of 25% on 250 Billion Dollars [sic] worth of goods & products. These massive payments go directly to the Treasury [sic] of the U.S.”

Unfortunately, that’s not how tariffs work. The burden falls entirely on American consumers.

Nike and Adidas also warned the president against the practice in May, saying that tariffs would have a catastrophic effect on the country.

It’s about more than retail goods, though. Midwest farmers have lost the Chinese market for soybeans and other crops, which necessitated a new program that gives them $16 billion in aid.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the tariffs on China. Do you think they work, or do you think they’re only punishing American consumers? Please join the conversation on my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed to let us know what you think!

Carlos Gamino