Over 200 Leaders Urge Against Vietnam Tariffs

Tariffs will harm U.S. businesses and consumers

This week, RILA President Brian Dodge, along with the leaders of 49 multi-industry associations and CEOs from 157 companies, sent a letter to President Trump urging him not to impose tariffs on products from Vietnam as a result of two investigation being undertaken by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The investigations are being conducted under USTR’s authority under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and were launched over concerns with Vietnam’s currency and timber practices.
The letter makes the case that tariffs will harm U.S. businesses and consumers and undermine U.S. competitiveness globally. New tariffs on products from Vietnam will have a negative impact on retailers selling a variety of consumers goods – from apparel and footwear to furniture and electronics. New tariffs may also invite retaliation from Vietnam, harming American exporters in the process.

Does that mean leading retailers don’t support efforts to address Vietnam’s practices, if they are actionable under the statute? Of course not. Instead, leading retailers support a targeted approach to the address the behavior in question – not indiscriminate tariffs that have been shown in other contexts not to resolve the underlying issues. A more targeted approach is needed.

For instance, during USTR’s hearing regarding Vietnam’s currency practices, RILA testified that USTR should work with the Treasury Department on coordinated, bilateral engagement to address any concerns. And during USTR’s hearing regarding Vietnam’s timber practices, we urged the Administration to leverage powerful tools like the Lacey Act, supplemented by bilateral engagement as needed, to address any concerns.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: tariffs will not resolve concerns with Vietnam’s currency or timber practices and will only cause damage to U.S. businesses and consumers. We hope the President and USTR heed the call from more than 200 business leaders to take a more targeted approach.

RILA members who signed the letter include: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Big Lots, Carter's, Columbia Sportswear, Designer Brands, Dollar General, Five Below, Gap Inc., J. Crew, Jo-Ann Stores, L.L. Bean, Lands' End, Levi Strauss, lululemon, New Balance, NIKE, PUMA, and Under Armour

Related links:
  • RILA’s comments in timber and currency investigations
  • RILA’s testimony in timber and currency hearings
  • RILA’s post-hearing comments in timber and currency investigations
  • Letter to USTR to Reopen the Comment Period in the Currency Investigation
  • Letter to USTR  to Allow Comments on the Treasury Report
  • Letter to President Trump from 200 Business Leaders on Vietnam
  • International Trade
  • Public Policy
  • Supply Chain

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