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Coalition of U.S. Companies Urges Against Trade War Escalation

The “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” coalition on 13 June sent a letter to President Trump, with copies to key members of his administration, urging him to reconsider the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs on mainland Chinese products. The letter was signed by 600 companies and trade associations of all sizes, including America’s largest retailers and key industry associations.

While Trump has repeatedly claimed that tariffs are paid by the exporting country, the signatories stressed that they are actually paid directly by U.S. companies rather than mainland China. The letter referenced a study from Trade Partnership Worldwide that estimates that 25 percent tariffs on an additional US$300 billion worth of mainland Chinese products – combined with the impact of current tariffs and mainland Chinese retaliatory tariffs – would result in the loss of more than two million U.S. jobs, cost US$2,000 to an American family of four, and lower U.S. gross domestic product by one percent. The signatories also noted that tariff uncertainty makes it impossible for businesses to plan and creates “turmoil in the markets.”

The letter concluded by urging the administration to avoid further escalation of the trade war and instead “get back to the negotiating table while working with our allies to develop global, enforceable solutions.” The coalition added that it is counting on the president “to force a positive resolution that removes the current tariffs, fosters American competitiveness, grows our economy and protects our workers and customers.”

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