Retailers Say Tariffs Will ‘Punish Ordinary Americans for China’s Violations’

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2018 – The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay on the administration’s plans to impose broad tariffs on consumer products from China: 

“Holding China accountable for refusing to follow global trading rules is important and necessary, but instead, the tariffs proposed by the administration will punish ordinary Americans for China’s violations. 

“Middle and working-class Americans are just starting to see the benefits of tax reform in the form of bigger paychecks and higher wages. Engaging in a trade war will erase those gains and result in higher prices for a wide range of consumer products and basic household goods. And the tariffs will create uncertainly for retailers and other businesses who are prepared to reinvest savings from the tax cut in capital investments, wage increases, workforce training and new jobs in communities across the country. 

“We urge the administration to reconsider and instead work with our trading partners to enforce the rules and advance targeted trade remedies. We will continue engaging with congressional leadership and the administration to advocate for an approach that doesn’t negatively impact American jobs, jeopardize economic growth and increase the cost of living for American families.” 

About NRF 
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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