Retail industry leaders are urging President Donald Trump to lift tariffs from Chinese goods as a response to the economic slowdown brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
For the last two years, tariffs from Chinese goods have increased disproportionately after U.S. and China found each other in a trade war that has elevated tariffs for each other’s goods. The average Chinese goods tariffs in the United States increased from 3.1% at the start of 2018 to 19.3% this month, and Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods from 8% to 20.3% during the same period, data from Peterson Institute for International Economics revealed.
Comes the global pandemic, the retail industry is one of the biggest industries hit by its economic impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the industry as consumers are forced at home and to reduce their spending. According to Steve Lamar, president, and chief executive of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, removing the tariff imposition would help the industry float as the entire world battle the deadly disease.
In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday, Lamar said: “We paid a couple more billion dollars of tariffs — about $3.5 billion worth of tariffs in 2019 which we didn’t pay in 2016,”
“One of the things we’ve been asking the president to do is ‘if you’re looking for an immediate way of injecting capital back into the system, get rid of those tariffs that are currently weighing us down,'” he added.