Major Retailers Discuss How Trump's Anti-China Tariff Plan Could Hurt Americans

Trump signed an order under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 March 8 to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. But the White House confirmed to CNN last week that the administration is weighing tariffs on at least $30 billion worth of other imports from China.

If implemented, the tariff package could draw retaliation from China, further fraying the trade partnership between two of the world's largest economies.

On Monday, Walmart, Ikea, Target and nine other large retail brands in the USA signed a petition to urge the Trump administration to halt the anti-China tariff plan.

The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese IT, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices. "We must do right by American families while also addressing harmful technology practices", said the letter.

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"In the USA, those who can afford less pay more because the US levies the highest tariffs on basic consumer goods", the letter states.

The order has also opened the door to the country's security and trade partners that want to get tariff waivers, as long as they can offer satisfactory alternatives during their talks with the U.S. Trade Representative office.

"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.

The letter says that the groups agree that the administration is right to consider acting against China to protect U.S. intellectual property.

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According to The Washington Post, senior aides had presented Trump with a Dollars 30 billion tariff package that would apply to a range of products.

"These persistent problems jeopardize USA global competitiveness, innovation, productivity, and cybersecurity", it said.

Worries about the potential for a US-China trade war and frustration over Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs are likely to dominate discussions during a gathering of G20 finance leaders in Buenos Aires this week. Instead the letter argues that the USA should work with trading partners in other countries which are also upset about China's practices, rather than going it alone.

China runs a US$375 billion trade surplus with the United States and when President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser visited Washington recently, the administration pressed him to come up with a way of reducing that number.

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