In a letter sent to Trump on Sunday, 45 trade groups told the Republican head of state his plans to impose around $30 billion in potential tariffs on China would result in price hikes that would eventually harm US consumers, Press TV reported.
“We urge the administration not to impose tariffs and to work with the business community to find an effective, but measured, solution to China’s protectionist trade policies and practices that protects American jobs and competitiveness,” the groups wrote.
“Tariffs would be particularly harmful,” they warned.
The tariffs are reported to be targeted at Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property and investment practices.
As an alternative approach, the trade groups asked Trump to join forces with Washington’s trade allies to come up with a plan that would force China to change its trade regulations.
Trump’s planned tariffs, they said, were only going to separate the US from other nations, allowing them to replace the US business presence in China when Beijing takes retaliatory measures.
The letter also asked Trump to let industry experts have a say in the process in order to minimize the economic impacts of any changes before they take effect.
“We urge the administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with international obligations that benefit US exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness,” they said.
The letter further fuels a rift between business experts and Trump on his trade policies, following the businessman-turned-president’s decision to step up a campaign that he says is aimed at protecting the domestic industry.
Trade associations, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and the Information Technology Industry Council, have been publicly pushing back against Trump’s efforts.
Undeterred by the opposition, the president has pushed ahead with his trade plans by recently announcing tariffs on certain steel and aluminum imports.