Published: Wed, May 22, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Shoe giants urge Trump to end trade war

Shoe giants urge Trump to end trade war

U.S. footwear companies, including Nike Inc and Under Armour, on Monday urged U.S. President Donald Trump to remove footwear from the proposed tariffs list on goods imported from China.

The U.S. earlier this month increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America says tariffs would cost United States customers an additional $7 billion per year.

"Any action taken to increase duties on Chinese footwear will have an immediate and long-lasting effect on American individuals and families", a coalition of more than 170 footwear companies said in a letter to Trump. "It is time to bring this trade war to an end".

China accused the United States on Monday of harboring "extravagant expectations" for a trade deal, underlining the gulf between the two sides as USA action against China's technology giant Huawei began hitting the global tech sector.

"Even though over the past year or more the United States has continued to menace Chinese products with additional tariffs, everyone can see that the enthusiasm for foreign investors in China remains high", Lu said.

Tariffs are paid by domestic companies, which often pass the cost to consumers in the form of higher prices. Mr. Trump also proposed an expanded round of tariffs on what's effectively the remainder of Chinese imports of about $300 billion.

However, the shoe-makers and retailers say that while they have been moving their sourcing away from China: "Footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies can not simply move factories to adjust to these changes".

Resolving that issue in an enforceable manner is a core USA demand in trade negotiations.

Nike, for one, makes 26% of its footwear in China, reported CNN, which also said that the Asian nation accounted for 72% of all footwear the USA imported in 2017.

"While the USA spares no efforts to subdue Huawei, out of personal belief, I chose to support the well respected company by using its product", Hu Xijin tweeted.

"There should be no misunderstanding that US consumers pay for tariffs on products that are imported", the companies said, refuting Trump's frequent erroneous statement that China pays the tariffs, creating a windfall for the US Treasury.

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