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600 Companies Tell Trump: End Trade War 'Both Sides Will Lose'

Appeal to president predicts long-lasting damage
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2019 5:56 PM CDT
A worker manufacturers coal mine equipment in a factory in central China's Anhui province. China's factory activity fell into contraction territory in May amid an ongoing trade dispute with the US that...   (Chinatopix via AP)

(Newser) – Walmart, Costco, Target, and hundreds of other companies and trade groups told President Trump on Thursday that tariffs on China will cost jobs and harm American consumers. It's a battle that "both sides will lose," CNN reports the letter to the White House says. The administration increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods last month. And Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese imports. "We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative, and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families, and the US economy," says the letter, which was signed by more than 600 companies and trade associations and endorsed by the tech, manufacturing, and agricultural industries.

The president has argued that China will bear the cost of the tariffs, but even officials in his administration have taken issue with that. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies," the companies' letter says. The president said this week that he has no deadline for deciding whether to escalate the trade war. "I think that we'll end up making a deal with China," he said, per Reuters. "We have a very good relationship, although it’s a little bit testy right now, as you would expect." Public hearings on the additional proposed tariffs, held by the US Trade Representative's office, will begin Monday, per CNN. (Read more trade war stories.)

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