An advocate for U.S. retailers is warning of expensive consequences for American consumers if President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. imports from China are imposed.
“At least $500, but that’s a minimum,” American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO Rick Helfenbein said about the impact tariffs would have on the average family of four during an interview on FOX Business.
The AAFA is urging the president to refrain from imposing new tariffs on U.S. apparel, footwear, and travel goods imports from China.
“Tariffs would not be helpful if they were on apparel,” Helfenbein said. “It’s a hidden tax on the American consumer.”
China is the number one importer to the U.S. with 41% of apparel, 72% of shoe and 84% of travel goods imports.
Helfenbein said businesses have to go elsewhere in order to be competitive in the world market and the challenge is finding a solution that would compensate for the higher cost of labor in the U.S.
“The reality is that you can make raw material, you can make fabric here because that’s capital intensive,” he said. “It doesn’t involve a lot people.”
AAFA represents more than 300 companies and 1,000 world famous name brands.