Some of the world’s biggest footwear firms are urging Donald Trump to end the US trade war with China, warning of a “catastrophic” effect on consumers.
A letter signed by 173 companies, including Nike and Adidas, says the president’s decision to raise import tariffs to 25% will disproportionately affect the working class.
China buys MUCH less from us than we buy from them, by almost 500 Billion Dollars, so we are in a fantastic position. Make your product at home in the USA and there is no Tariff. You can also buy from a non-Tariffed country instead of China. Many companies are leaving China…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2019
They also warn that higher levies threaten the future of some businesses.
Mr Trump maintains that trade deficit will China hurts the US economy.
The US president increased levies on $200bn (£157.3bn) worth of Chinese imports into the US from 10% to 25% more than a week ago after Washington and Beijing failed to reach a deal on trade.
China retaliated by announcing plans to raise levies on $60bn of US imports from 1 June.
The footwear companies that signed the letter, including Clarks, Dr Martens and Converse, say that while the average US tariff on footwear is 11.3%, in some cases it can reach as high as 67.5%.
“Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes,” the companies wrote.
“This is unfathomable.”
“It is time to bring this trade war to an end,” the firms urged.
When he raised tariffs earlier this month, Mr Trump told companies that they could reduce costs by shifting production to the US.
Still, Beijing signalled some willingness to work with Washington to solve their trade dispute.
No discussions have been scheduled since the last round of talks ended on 10 May.
“China remains ready to continue our talks with our American colleagues to reach a conclusion. Our door is still open,” China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said on Fox News.
The leaders of the US and China are also set to meet again at the G20 summit in Japan next month.