March 18, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, technology industry trade group ITI, the global voice of the tech sector, joined 44 other associations representing a broad cross-section of the business community opposing tariffs as a remedy to the United States 301 investigation on China’s unfair trade practices. While the associations appreciate the Administration’s efforts to address this long-standing problem, tariffs would punish U.S. consumers and businesses for China’s actions.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, the group outlines how imposing tariffs would harm consumers, workers, and a wide-range of industries across the country, and would negate recent gains for the U.S. economy and the benefits of comprehensive tax reform. Tariffs on electronics, apparel, and other consumer products would increase prices for U.S. consumers and businesses, while doing little to address the fundamental challenges posed by unfair and discriminatory Chinese trade practices. The associations encourage the Administration to work with industry experts to identify a targeted solution to this problem.

To read the letter click here or see below:

President Donald Trump

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

March 18, 2018

Dear President Trump,

As representatives of the U.S. business community, we continue to have serious concerns regarding China’s trade policies and practices, including market access barriers and state-directed investment policies, technology transfer and data localization mandates, policies and practices that prevent setting market-based terms in licensing and technology-related negotiations, and theft of trade secrets and other intellectual property. These persistent problems jeopardize U.S. global competitiveness, innovation, productivity, and cybersecurity. We recognize the U.S. Government’s examination of these issues through the 301 process, and support an effort to address China’s discriminatory practices.

However, we urge the Administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with international obligations that benefit U.S. exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness.

The imposition of sweeping tariffs would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy, provoking retaliation; stifling U.S. agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers. The Administration should not respond to unfair Chinese practices and policies by imposing tariffs or other measures that will harm U.S. companies, workers, farmers, ranchers, consumers, and investors.

Tariffs would be particularly harmful.

  • Tariffs on electronics, apparel, and other consumer products would increase prices for U.S. consumers and businesses, while doing little to address the fundamental challenges posed by unfair and discriminatory Chinese trade practices. These increased costs would effectively levy a tax on U.S. consumers and businesses, negating gains for American workers from U.S. tax reform.
  • Tariffs would not only affect Chinese shippers but also harm U.S. companies that sell component pieces of final products exported from China.
  • Tariffs would harm community service providers—including American health care, education, and emergency responders. These essential services rely heavily on consumer electronics and other imported goods, and would be negatively affected by increased costs.
  • Tariffs on product components would hurt U.S. manufacturing exports by making it more expensive to obtain key inputs and disrupting existing supply chains. This would have a negative impact on American jobs. In 2017, manufactured goods made up more than 85 percent of U.S. exported goods, totaling $1.3 trillion.
  • Tariffs that result in reduced consumption of products would also depress financial markets—a decline in ICT product purchases alone could result in a potential decrease of GDP by $11 billion for every percentage of stock value lost.

There are alternatives to address China’s policies and practices that would not have the same adverse impacts on U.S. consumers, businesses, and local communities or undermine the benefits of the tax reform. In particular, it is critically important that the Administration work with like-minded partners to address common concerns with China’s trade and investment policies. Imposition of unilateral tariffs by the Administration would only serve to split the United States from its allies, hinder joint action to effectively address shared challenges, and ensure that foreign companies take the place of markets that American companies, farmers and ranchers must vacate when China retaliates against U.S. tariffs.

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. Consistent with Section 304 of the Trade Act of 1974, we request that the Administration allow industry experts the opportunity to comment on these issues, including the economic impact of any potential actions.

Sincerely,

Agriculture Transportation Coalition

Airforwarders Association

Allied for Startups

American Apparel & Footwear Association

AutoCare Association

CAWA Auto Parts

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Columbia River Customs & Forwarders

CompTIA

Computer and Communications Industry Association

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of Northern California

Developers Alliance

Fashion Accessory Shippers (FASA)

Gemini Shippers Association

Grocery Manufacturers Association

Home Furnishings Association

Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

International Wood Products Association

Internet Association

Los Angeles Customs Brokers

National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America

National Foreign Trade Council

National Retail Federation

NY/NJ Forwarders and Brokers Association

North American Meat Institute

Outdoor Industry Association

Pacific Northwest Asia Shippers Association

Promotional Products Association International

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)

Snowsports Industries America

Specialty Crop Trade Council

Sports and Fitness Industry

Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc.

TechNet

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

The APP Association (ACT)

The Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders

The Toy Association

Travel Goods Association (TGA)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Council for International Business

U.S. Fashion Industry Association

U.S. Hide, Skin, and Leather Association

Wine and Spirits Shippers Association

CC: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment