A group of 25 major U.S. retail companies, including Walmart, Costco and Best Buy, on Monday urged the Donald Trump administration not to impose sweeping tariffs on Chinese imports.
"We are concerned about the negative impact" that "could have on America's working families," "as you consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act," the retailers said in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, referring to the administration's ongoing unilateral investigation about China's trade policies and practices.
"Yet were this investigation to result in a broadly applied tariff remedy on imports from China, it would hurt American households with higher prices and exacerbate a U.S. tariff system that is already stacked against working families," the letter said.
The retail group noted that those working families who can afford less have already paid more in the United States because the country levies "the highest tariffs" on basic consumer goods.
"Applying any additional broad-based tariff as part of a Section 301 action would worsen this inequity and punish American working families with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes, electronics, and home goods," they argued.
The letter came after the Trump administration was reportedly considering tariffs on 30-60 billion U.S. dollars of annual Chinese imports for China's alleged "unfair trade practices."
It was the latest example of growing dissent from U.S. business groups against the Trump administration's protectionist trade policy.
Forty-five U.S. trade associations, representing retail, technology, agriculture and other consumer-product industries, on Sunday also urged the Trump administration not to move forward its tariff plan on Chinese imports, as it would hurt U.S. consumers and companies.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday that China hoped to address bilateral trade issues with the United States in a constructive manner and by making a bigger "cake" of cooperation.
"The two sides have properly resolved their trade differences in a constructive manner over the past 40 years. We believe the two countries can still settle their disputes through friendly negotiations, and we are ready to do so," the spokesman said.