Retailers Warn Barrage of Tariffs Will Put Consumers Jobs in

This week, Hun Quach, vice president of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), will testify before the 301 Committee, an interagency group comprised of several federal agencies, as part of the public hearings on the Trump Administration's proposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China. 

As part of her testimony, Quach will walk through "a day in the life" of American consumers as they experience the impact of a new tranche of proposed tariffs. Tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods are already in effect as of July 6, and tariffs on an additional $16 billion will take effect this week on August 23. 

"The Administration made the commitment to put minimum pain on consumers. We urge the Administration to keep that commitment to the American people," Quach says in her oral testimony. 

"Each day, America's retailers serve tens of millions of customers. Whether shopping in-store, online, or from the comfort of their couch, consumers make up roughly 70 percent of the American economy. No sector cares more about consumers than retail." 

"Instead of telling you, let me show you how the proposed 301 tariffs will impact the cost of everyday items…Need a new mattress? Better buy it soon. Mattresses are on the proposed 301 tariff list. 301 is a bed tax," said Quach. 

"Replacing a lightbulb will be more expensive…chandeliers, pendants, table lamps – all on the 301 list. 301 is a double tax every time you turn on the lights." 

Quach listed a number of everyday products that would be subject to tariffs including back to school items like backpacks, paper, glue and household items like pet food, paper plates, flooring and furniture. 

"Everything you need to get ready in the morning – from bar soap, make-up, electric shavers, hair appliances and accessories, and even your toilet paper will get hit with the 301 tariff," said Quach. 

"301 is a 'toilet paper tax.' 301 a 'toothbrush tax.' 301 is a getting 'ready in the morning tax.'" 

While RILA supports the Administration's goal of holding China accountable, the trade association representing the world's largest retailers continues to warn the Administration that consumers, not China, will ultimately be the ones paying the tariffs imposed on millions of consumer products. 

"Tariffs are not the answer in getting China to take action. The two previous rounds of tariffs have already proven this," said Quach. 

To read RILA's full oral testimony click 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. 

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