Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the trade association for America's largest and most innovative retail brands, warned that proposed tariffs on goods imported from China will result in higher prices for American families.
Hun Quach, vice president of international trade for RILA, testified before the 301 Committee, an interagency group comprised of several federal agencies, today as part of the public hearings on the proposed tariffs.
"We support the Administration's decision to hold China accountable for their intellectual property violations, but imposing tariffs on a broad range of products coming from China, most of which have no connection to the identified violations, will simply mean higher prices for consumers," said Quach. "If enacted, these proposed tariffs will impact the budget of American families, especially lower and middle-income families who can ill-afford to pay more for everyday consumer goods."
Quach noted the timing of the tariffs will have a negative impact on America's retailers and their customers.
"While there is no good time for increasing tariffs, it is particularly harmful to do so just as American families begin shopping for the holidays."
USTR proposed to self-impose an additional duty of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of products imported from China. This comes after similar duties were enacted on $34 billion in Chinese imports starting July 6, 2018. Products in this new round of tariffs include items like remote controls, soap dispensers, fans and charging cables. Quach noted items like tape, curling ribbon, stickers, and decorative snowflakes, will be subject to tariffs just as retailers and consumers prepare for the holidays.
"For several products on the proposed list, there is no alternative other than China to source these consumer products. The Administration must do more to ensure that consumer products remain off the tariff list to prevent harm to American family budgets."
Quach closed her testimony by welcoming the opportunity to continue to work with the Administration on achieving shared goals and finding meaningful solutions.
"We welcome the opportunity to share the intricacies of our global supply chain, the impact these tariffs will have to consumers, and the millions of American retail jobs supported by trade as you begin your decision-making. Retailers thrive in a rules-based globalized economy where markets are open, trade rules and obligations are met, and governance is fair and transparent."
RILA's full submitted testimony can be read here and the oral testimony as prepared for delivery can be read 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.