April 12 (UPI) — A coalition of 107 U.S. trade groups sent a letter to Congress Thursday, opposing billions of dollars worth of proposed tariffs on Chinese imports.
President Donald Trump proposed the penalties last week over what he considers unfair trade practices. Last month, he imposed about $60 billion worth of tariffs for Chinese “aggression.”
Trade groups representing U.S. retailers, farmers, manufacturers and technology groups, though, said the tariffs would come at too steep a price.
“While the administration has signaled that the proposed tariffs are intended to inflict maximum pain on China and minimal pain on the U.S. consumer, unfortunately that is not the case,” the groups said in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, ahead of a hearing Thursday.
The business leaders said the taxes on Chinese products will affect not only U.S. goods, but also parts U.S. manufacturers use to make the products.
“If imposed, these tariffs will result in higher prices for American consumers and fewer jobs for American workers,” the letter stated.
The businesses are by multiple groups like the National Retail Federation, Information Technology Industry Council and the San Diego Customs Brokers Association.
The number of trade groups opposing the tariffs has doubled in recent weeks.
Trump cited, as a reason for the tariffs, a trade investigation last summer that found Chinese theft of intellectual property is costing the domestic economy billions. Business leaders argue, however, that there are better ways to deal with potentially problematic Chinese trade policies.
The coalition said tariffs “will not effectively advance our shared goal” of changing problems with China — and will be “hidden, regressive taxes” to be paid by American businesses and consumers in the form of higher product prices.
“We strongly encourage Congress to work together and with the administration to develop and execute a strategic policy to effectively address the longstanding problems in China,” the letter said. “This must include clearly defined objectives, deadlines and immediate negotiations with China.”