See More on Facebook

Economics

US business leaders cry foul over tariffs

China’s role in production stressed as public hearing starts on tariffs.


Written by

Updated: August 23, 2018

 

One executive displayed a pink helmet that she said would be increasingly unavailable if tariffs were raised, while another said: “Help me keep my company alive.”

Representatives from a broad cross-section of United States’ businesses and industrial groups began to voice their concerns on Monday, the first of six days of public hearings on the impact of a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese products.

Many said that hefty duties harm US consumers, workers and businesses as well as the economy.

US President Donald Trump has directed the US trade representative to consider increasing the additional duty from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, targeting thousands of consumer products ranging from chemicals to cosmetics.

The tariffs would be the same as those the US has already imposed on $34 billion in Chinese goods, and on another $16 billion to be activated on Thursday.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will visit the US this week to talk with his counterpart on bilateral economic and trade issues.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Tuesday that China hopes the talks with the US “reach a good result” on the basis of equality and good credibility.

Many executives testified on Monday that production of the targeted Chinese imports could not feasibly shift to the US.

Ross Bishop, president of BrightLine Bags, whose products are manufactured in China, said: “We’ve made three specific and concerted attempts to get our bags made in the US and have learned from each instance that our costs would triple compared to what we pay now, and the detailed quality isn’t as good.”

Already paying 17.6 percent duties, an additional 25 percent would bring the total to “an absurd level of 42.6 percent”, which has the “undeniable potential” to cripple his company, he said.

The actions taken by the Trump administration do not represent the will and interests of the US people or companies, but serve their own political purpose, said Shen Jianguang, chief economist at JD Finance.

“The actions keep neglecting the fact that many products manufactured in China such as semiconductors, smartphones and construction machinery are invested in and operated by US companies.”

The Beijing-based China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products urged the US government to remove products such as refrigerators from the proposed tariff list, as they easily affect daily lives in the US.

Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the China Society for WTO Studies, said China’s foreign trade has great resilience, and the country has already begun to further stimulate domestic consumption and diversify its exports to minimize impact from the China-US trade dispute.

Joseph Cohen, CEO of Snow Joe LLC, said “significant harm” would be inflicted on US consumers and businesses without advancing the US administration’s goal if a 25 percent or even 10 percent tariff were imposed on various consumer products offered by his company.

Thomas Cove, president and CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, said China remains a “vital and not easily replaceable link” in the industry’s supply chain.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics

US urged to comply with WTO ruling

The US, under Trump, has shunned several international organizations. The United States has challenged the authority of the World Trade Organization by ignoring a WTO ruling, and such a move may escalate trade tension with China, experts said on Wednesday. The WTO announced on Tuesday that the revised countervailing measures imposed by the US on imports of certain products from China were inconsistent with WTO laws. However, the US failed to comply with the WTO ruling and accused China of “using State-owned enterprises to subsidize its economy”. The WTO mechanism is what members use to settle trade disputes, and countries in most cases abide by the rulings made by the organization, said Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the China Society for WTO Studies. “If member economies don’t follow this procedure, the rule-based global multilateral system will be damaged and thr


By China Daily
July 19, 2019

Economics

S. Korea may review military info-sharing pact with Japan

It is unclear how the ongoing trade dispute with Japan has affected the decision. A senior Blue House official said Thursday South Korea will review whether to renew a pact with Japan on sharing military information, if needed, according to a politician here. “For now, (the government) has a position to maintain it. It can be reconsidered in accordance with (relevant) situations,” Chung Eui-yong, director of Cheong Wa Dae’s national security office, was quoted by Rep. Sim Sang-jung, head of the progressive Justice Party, as saying during a closed-door meeting with politicians. Chung, during the meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, briefed the politicians on the government’s response to Japan’s tougher export restrictions against South Korea.Sim told reporters that she raised the issue of the bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in the meeting.


By The Korea Herald
July 19, 2019

Economics

S. Korea cuts growth outlook to 2.2%, key rate to 1.5% amid uncertainties

Japan’s export curbs had impact on drastic lowering of outlook: BOK chief. The Bank of Korea has slashed its forecast for this year’s economic growth to 2.2 percent, reflecting the negative impact of external uncertainties including Japan’s ongoing export curbs. It also carried out an earlier-than-expected base interest rate cut to 1.5 percent, embracing the monetary easing signals in the United States and other developed economies. “Considering the changes in economic conditions since the last outlook (announcement) in April, we have set the economic growth rate for this year at 2.2 percent and the consumer price inflation at 0.7 percent,


By The Korea Herald
July 19, 2019

Economics

Dozens die in suspected arson at animation studio in Kyoto

The perpetrator has been arrested. More than two dozen people died when a fire, possibly caused by arson, broke out at a studio managed by animation production company Kyoto Animation Co. in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, on Thursday morning. The Kyoto city fire department initially confirmed that one person had died, but dozens were later found in cardiac arrest inside the three-story building. The Kyoto Prefectural Police later confirmed that 25 people had died. According to the fire department, a nearby resident made an emergency call at about 10:35 a.m., saying they had heard the sound of an explosion. Officials of the prefectural police rushed to the studio and found a man, 41, on a road near the studio. The man told them, “I sprinkled liquid on the first floor and set it on fire.”


By The Japan News
July 19, 2019

Economics

US tourism feels trade war pinch

Chinese travel fell 5.7 percent in 2018, its first drop in 15 years.  Travelers from China are seeking alternative destinations amid the trade war with the United States, as travel industry insiders keep a close eye on the decline in the number of those visitors. China is the third-largest source of overseas travel to the US, producing 3.2 million visitors in 2017 and accounting for 8.2 percent of all overseas travel to the country, according to the US Travel Association. Travel is the top US industry export to China, generating a $29.8 billion trade surplus with the country in 2017 and accounting for 19 percent of all exports. In addition, Chinese tourists spend an average of $6,700 per trip, about 50 percent more than the average for international visitors. Chinese travel to the US fell by 5.7 percent last year to 2.9 million visitors, the first fall in 15 years, according to


By China Daily
July 18, 2019

Economics

Death toll in Mumbai building collapse likely to rise

A massive rescue operation is underway in India. The death toll in the building collapse in India’s financial capital Mumbai rose to 14 on Wednesday as rescue operations continued for the second day after the 100-year-old structure crumbled to the ground under incessant rains on Tuesday.   The death toll is likely to go up further as the rescue operations progress, an official from the Mumbai disaster management cell said. Dozens are still feared trapped in the rubble. At least 40 to 50 people were feared trapped under the debris of the four-storey building in the Dongri locality of Mumbai, local residents said. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also carrying out rescue and search operations with the help of sniffer dogs. Nine people, including two children, have been rescued so far. Three NDRF teams were joined by the fire


By Ishan Joshi
July 18, 2019