WASHINGTON – The US has slapped 10 per cent tariffs on another US$200bn of Chinese imports in a move the US fashion sector suggested will create “supply chain chaos.” US President Trump claimed the tariffs are in response to China’s refusal to change “unfair practices which, it is claimed, hurt US businesses. The 10 per cent tariffs will continue till this year end, after which the rate will jump to 25 per cent. Textiles is among the domestic sectors President Trump has claimed to be attempting to protect with these tariffs, although it is difficult to see how picking an economic fight with China will help matters.
United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has issued a statement in which it strongly opposed President Trump’s action. It says: “In addition to amounting to a tax on consumers, these tariffs will add considerable disruption to the supply chain; the fact that the tariffs will start at 10 per cent now and will rise to 25 per cent on January 1st creates additional chaos in the fashion industry’s supply chains, which will have a wide-ranging negative impact on consumers, companies, and jobs in the United States, the association said in a statement.”
The new tariffs are effective from September 24 and will mean roughly half of the products the United States buys from China under punitive duties.
In a typically bombastic Tweet, President Trump said: “China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years. They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it. There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!”
Meanwhile, China has announced retaliatory action against America. Beijing says it will impose tariffs of up to 10 per cent on US$60bn of US imports, starting on 24 September.
These new levies will cover around 5,000 American products.