RILA Points to Consumer Impact of Tariffs in USTR Comments

Association set to testify before USTR on Friday

As public hearings continue on the Administration’s proposed Section 301 tariff list, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) this week submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) outlining the retail industry’s concerns with the ongoing use of tariffs in a trade war with China.

In addition to discussing the negative impact of tariffs on the American economy broadly, the comments highlight specific consumer products on the Section 301 list – items like clothing, shoes, consumer electronics, and toys – that would cost consumers more should these tariffs go into effect. RILA notes these products have no relationship to the Administration’s concerns with Chinese intellectual property theft and technology transfers, and therefore respectfully asks the Administration to remove over 650 tariff lines from the proposed tranche 4 list of products.

According to the testimony:

“RILA supports holding U.S. trading partners accountable and using targeted trade remedies against intellectual property theft, illegal dumping or subsidies, and other proven trade violations consistent with international rules. However, RILA remains opposed to the use of tariffs, more specifically tariffs on consumer products. American families should not bear the burden of another round of tariffs imposed on billions of dollars’ worth of consumer goods while the Administration is working to address China’s bad trade practices.”

“The Administration’s proposed tariff action would not address China’s improper transfer of technology nor would it be effective in eliminating China’s discriminatory behavior against U.S. companies. In fact, it would do greater harm to U.S. economic interests. The three previous rounds of tariff actions have already proven this.”

In addition to this written testimony, RILA’s Vice President of International Trade Hun Quach will provide oral testimony before the USTR this Friday, June 21.


RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

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.

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