Trump defends his China strategy, Beijing says ‘not afraid’ of trade war

Nellie Chapman
June 14, 2019

America's retailers, manufacturers, tech companies and industry associations joined together to warn that tariffs on China will damage the US economy. Broad tariffs are ineffective, the letter said, and "we know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the USA economy".

The meeting comes as the President is considering whether to go ahead with threatened tariff increases in his trade war with China.

"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the new letter sent on Thursday said.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit later this month in Japan, a White House spokesman said on Thursday, although he suggested a meeting was not yet firmly scheduled.

"We are counting on you to force a positive resolution that removes the current tariffs, fosters American competitiveness, grows our economy and protects our workers and customers", the companies and groups wrote. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Walmart, the largest US private-sector employer and the world's largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for USA consumers.

Some 600 American retailers, farmers, and manufacturers, which include Walmart and Levi Strauss, signed the letter, and urged Trump to forego levies on Beijing amid an ongoing trade war between the two countries.

The Trump administration increased additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in May, and has threatened to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on essentially all remaining Chinese goods sold to the USA - valued at roughly $300 billion - which are not yet subject to extra duties.

"An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose", the letter added.

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