More than 170 prominent footwear retailers, including industry leaders such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, called Monday for the Trump administration to abandon plans to implement further tariffs on apparel manufactured in China.
In a letter to President Trump, the companies said the increased tariffs could have a “catastrophic” impact “for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole.” As negotiations stalled on a U.S.-China trade deal, the Trump administration last week earmarked $300 billion in Chinese goods that could be subject to 25 percent tariffs.
“On behalf of our hundreds of millions of footwear consumers and hundreds of thousands of employees, we ask that you immediately stop this action to increase their tax burden,” the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America trade group said in the letter. “Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill. It is time to bring this trade war to an end.”
The footwear companies estimate that the tariffs if finalized, would cost U.S. consumers more than $7 billion annually. Other prominent brands that signed the letter include Aldo, Brooks, Converse, Foot Locker and Puma.
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Trade talks between the two countries abruptly broke off earlier this month, prompting Trump to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing responded by implementing retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods.
“While our industry has been moving away from China for some time now, footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies cannot simply move factories to adjust to these changes,” the letter added. “Any action taken to increase duties on Chinese footwear will have an immediate and long-lasting effect on American individuals and families. It will also threaten the very economic viability of many companies in our industry.”
Executives from Walmart and Macy’s each warned in recent days that further tariffs would lead to higher prices for shoppers.