US shippers hit out at latest round of US tariffs
18 / 09 / 2018
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has criticised the latest round of US tariffs on Chinese products, saying that American families will pay the bill.
The new 10% tariff on $200bn worth of Chinese goods are likely to have more of an impact on airfreight than the two previous rounds as they will apply to products including handbags, luggage, electronics, foods, rice and textiles.
The tariff will come into force on September 24 and will increase to 25% at the start of next year unless the two countries can reach an agreement over the ongoing trade dispute.
US President Donald Trump has also warned that the country could add tariffs to another $267bn worth of Chinese goods if China takes retaliatory action. He said the tariffs are in response to "unfair policies and practices".
NRF president and chief executive Matthew Shay said: "It’s disappointing that, despite the voices of those impacted, the administration continues to advance harmful tariff policies that threaten to weaken the US economy.
“Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to US consumers grows. With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched.
“We cannot afford further escalation, especially with the holiday shopping season right around the corner. The mere talk of tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports is of serious concern to retailers since tariffs of that magnitude would touch every aspect of American life.
"Achieving better trade deals is an important priority, but there is nothing better about it when American families are forced to pay higher prices for everyday purchases.”
FedEx said that the tariffs would not have too much of an impact on its business as the China-US trade lane represents only 2% of total revenues.
FedEX executive vice president, global strategy, marketing and communications, Raj Subramaniam said: "The current tariffs impact a small portion of our volume coming out of China. However, the uncertainty surrounding the issue is not helping and thus has a broader impact on the market.
"It’s very difficult to predict the future course of tariff implementation. We’re monitoring the situation very carefully and we’ll adjust our strategies according to market conditions. We continue to support lower trade barriers for all our customers."
The NRF along with more than 100 other organisations recently launched a multi-industry coalition, Americans for Free Trade, aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefit of international trade.
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