US Firms Feel Squeeze of Trump's China Policy

Donald Trump and wine

Donald Trump and wine

Shoppers ride escalators at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles, California November 8, 2013. And in the end, many of these companies will pass their higher costs on to their customers.

Child protection products like vehicle seats were reprieved from Trump's former tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods levied on September 2018.

Spirit of 76, a fireworks company that imports 100 per cent of its product from China, said the tariffs would cause significant harm to its business where profit margins are already razor thin. The U.S. government is pushing for wide-ranging economic and trade reforms from Beijing.

Other companies with USA manufacturing operations voiced opposition to the tariffs because they depend on Chinese components, such as light-emitting diode parts for lighting manufacturer Ledvance LLC and stitched leather parts for athletic shoe maker New Balance LLC. Thousands of business filed comments to the USTR ahead of the hearings.

But Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday he thinks "the most that will come out of the G-20 might be an agreement to actively resume talks".

New Balance athletic shoe makers are opposing the tariff barriers Trump has imposed on China. "Last year, $66.3 billion worth of these items were imported from China". Chinese imports amounted to 98% of total USA imports of those consoles past year. Products entering the US after June 15 are taxed at the 25% rate.

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"However, trying to find other countries to manufacture everything else, from Santa hats, to stockings, to glass ornaments, has been a struggle and we have been unable to do so", Nathan Gordon of Gordon Companies Inc in Cheektowaga said in public comments posted on June 12.

And the specter of such a massive hit to consumers' wallets holds political peril for Trump. The Consumer Technology Association estimates that 2018 imports in this category from China were up to $17.9 billion.

Eleven rounds of negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute over China's aggressive drive to surpass America's technological dominance.

Combined with the impact of already implemented tariffs and retaliation between the two countries, these tariffs would also add more than $2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of US gross domestic product by 1.0 percent, it said.

Still, Mr William Reinsch, a trade policy expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said the new tariffs were likely to pinch ordinary consumers far more.

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