Shoe giants urge Trump to end trade war

Lloyd Doyle
May 22, 2019

"The proposed additional tariff of 25 percent on footwear would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies and the American economy as a whole", more than 170 companies said in a letter sent to the White House Monday.

In the escalating trade war with Beijing, Trump this month increased existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 per cent and is threatening to extend those duties to almost all Chinese products imported into the United States.

The footwear companies who signed the letter, including Clarks, Dr Martens and Converse, claim that while the average United States tariff on footwear is 11.3%, in some cases it can reach as high a 67.5%.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he didn't know what Trump was talking about.

Adding to US-China tensions, the US military said one of its warships sailed on Sunday near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which is in the South China Sea and which is claimed by China.

Trump and China have been playing tariff ping pong since a year ago, each slapping ever-larger tariffs on the other in trade negotiations that have morphed into an outright trade war.

The U.S. earlier this month increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Shares in European chipmakers Infineon Technologies, AMS and STMicroelectronics fell sharply on Monday amid worries the Huawei suppliers may suspend shipments to the Chinese firm due to the USA blacklisting.

In an interview with Fox News channel recorded last week and aired on Sunday night, Trump said the United States and China "had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it".

"But China will not take it and neither will Huawei".

In a separate development, Trump directed the Commerce Department and other U.S. agencies to come up with a plan to ban American firms from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies if they're deemed a "national security risk".

"Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill", the chafing shoe companies said. The Ameican President is set to discuss the tariffs with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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