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POST TIME: 17 June, 2019 09:08:52 PM
Businesses clamor for Trump’s ear as $300b in new China tariffs loom
AFP, Washington

Businesses clamor for Trump’s ear as $300b in new China tariffs loom

Washington is planning another tidal wave of tariffs on Chinese imports that represent a worst-case scenario for markets and major industries on both sides of the Pacific.

And yesterday, seven days of public hearings are due to begin as major businesses issue their loudest warnings yet about layoffs, lost business and America’s waning industrial predominance.

Some industries, such as steel and aluminum producers, have benefitted from President Donald Trump’s trade policies and strongly support tariffs.

But the lion’s share so far are pleading with his administration to spare the imports they depend on — if not to step back from the brink of an unprecedented all-out trade conflict that economists say would prove dire for global growth.

Should they take effect, the newest $300 billion round of tariffs — which follow last month’s sudden crackup in trade negotiations with Beijing —would mean stinging duties cover just about all of the more than half trillion dollars in goods that Americans buy from China every year.

Major trade bodies share Trump’s principle grievances with Beijing, accusing it of rampant industrial espionage and massive state intervention in markets.

But in a letter to Trump on Thursday, hundreds of US companies large and small, including retail giants Target and Walmart, warned Trump the new tariff round could cost two million jobs and cut US GDP growth by a full percentage point.