USA begins tariff exemption process for certain goods

US trade groups warn against higher tariffs

In the wake of news that the White House is considering retaliatory measures against Chinese technology and intellectual property policies and practices, which could include widespread tariffs on a variety of consumer goods, The National Retail Federation (NRF), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the American Apparel & Footwear Association, along with their respective memberships, sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump raising their concerns regarding the detrimental effect that broadly applied tariffs could have on us families, in the form of higher prices on essential items.

AEM said that over the past several months their businesses were being hurt by increasing steel prices on the expectation that the Trump administration would levy the steep tariffs over national security concerns.

The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices.

Among other things, the U.S. administration had accused Beijing of forcing United States companies to turn over proprietary commercial information and intellectual property as a condition of operating in the Asian nation.

"We are concerned about the negative impact" that "could have on America's working families", "as you consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act", the retailers said in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, referring to the administration's ongoing unilateral investigation about China's trade policies and practices.

Rather, the USA "should work with like-minded partners to address common concerns with China's trade and investment policies".




"We urge the administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with worldwide obligations that benefit United States exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness", they said.

But he is likely to hear pleas for exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

The delegation will also seek to learn about concrete measures the USA will adopt to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

But any U.S. individual or organization may object to the exemption setting up a battle between domestic steel and aluminum producers that could benefit from the protective tariffs and companies that rely on imports.

Reuters reported last week that the Trump administration was considering punitive tariffs on some US$60 billion worth of Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products annually.

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