U.S. companies warn Trump on China tariffs

Will the Real Tariff Man Please Stand Down

Source AP

The CEO Economic Outlook Index, a gauge of business confidence of big US corporations issued quarterly by the Washington-based Business Roundtable, decreased 5.7 points in the second quarter to a value of 89.5.

The coalition commissioned a report in February that showed the US tariffs and China's retaliation would lead to the loss of more than 2 million US jobs, increase costs for the average American family of four by nearly $2,300, and trim US GDP.

In the letter dated June 13, the business entities - including big-name retailers such as Walmart Inc., Macy's Inc. and Target Corp. - urged the president to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a deal to end the yearlong trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

A Walmart store logo is seen on the building of a Walmart Supercenter in Rosemead, California on May 23, 2019.

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With less than three weeks to go before talks between Chinese and USA leaders, expectations for progress towards ending the trade war are low.

"Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China's unfair trade practices", the letter reads. But other issues have overwhelmed the industry more recently, including the trade war between the US and China and concern about the sector's rising power.

"The overall economic burden will hurt China more than it hurts us", said Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council.

In early May, Washington increased levies from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, leading Beijing to retaliate with duties of 5% to 25% on $60 billion of US goods.

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Though many retailers are putting on a fearless face, many have said in recent weeks and months that the new tariffs would force them to raise prices, resulting in higher costs paid by United States consumers for the same items.

They would also add more than US$2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of United States gross domestic product by 1 percent, the letter warned.

Additional 25% tariffs on $300 billion in imports, on top of those already levied, would wipe out more than 2 million U.S.jobs, the letter said, citing estimates from worldwide consultancy the Trade Partnership.

On Thursday, Trump spoke with Cook about "trade, USA investment, immigration and privacy", White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

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