At a reception on Capitol Hill last night hosted by the Economic Club of Minnesota, Target CEO and RILA Chairman Brian Cornell addressed the proposed increase of tariffs on goods imported from China. According to the Star Tribune:
The U.S. retail industry will try to fight the negative impact of tariffs on Chinese and other imports the same way it fought and defeated a border-adjustment tax proposed by President Donald Trump that would have led to higher costs for imported goods, Target CEO Brian Cornell said Tuesday.
Right now, average Americans may not understand the tariffs proposed by Trump could raise consumer prices, particularly at retailers such as Target which import much of their inventory from China, said Cornell.
"Until we see the final plan, it's hard for us to react to it," Cornell said. "But we're watching it carefully to see what categories [of products] are going to be affected." If the products include clothes and housewares, shoppers at Target and many other U.S. retail chains could be looking at paying more for their basic needs.
Cornell, who chairs the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), said the trade group will take a wait-and-see approach on a strategy to Trump's most recent threat to place protectionist levies on $200 billion worth of unspecified Chinese products imported annually to the U.S.
RILA's latest statement in response to this week's tariff announcement from the White House can be found here.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.