Sunday June 16, 2019
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US Shoe Industry Urges Trump to Exempt Footwear from Tariffs

The industry imported $11.4 billion worth of shoes from China, although some manufacturers have been shifting production elsewhere, especially to Vietnam and Cambodia

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shoe industry
A man wearing Nike shoes uses his smartphone near an advertisement for U.S. lingerie maker Victoria's Secret in Beijing on May 21, 2019. VOA

More than 170 American shoe manufacturers and retailers, including such well-known athletic shoe brands as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, urged President Donald Trump on Tuesday to exempt footwear from any further tariffs he imposes on imported goods from China.

The lobby for the shoe industry, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, told Trump in a letter that his proposed 25 percent tariff on shoes imported from China “would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies and the American economy as a whole.” The industry imported $11.4 billion worth of shoes from China last year, although some manufacturers have been shifting production elsewhere, especially to Vietnam and Cambodia.

It said the proposed tariffs on shoes made in China could cost U.S. consumers more than $7 billion annually on top of existing levies.

shoe industry
It said the proposed tariffs on shoes made in China could cost U.S. consumers more than $7 billion annually on top of existing levies. Pixabay

“There should be no misunderstanding that U.S. consumers pay for tariffs on products that are imported,” the 173 companies said, rejecting Trump’s frequent erroneous statement that China pays the tariffs and that the money goes directly to the U.S. Treasury.

Trump has been engaged in a string of reciprocal tariff increases with China on imported goods arriving in each other’s ports as the world’s two biggest economies have tried for months — unsuccessfully so far — to negotiate a new trade pact.

After Trump imposed new 25 percent taxes on $200 billion worth of Chinese products earlier this month, he also set in motion plans to impose a new round of levies on virtually all Chinese imports, another $300 billion worth of goods, including shoe imports, clothing and electronics.

shoe industry, tariffs
The industry imported $11.4 billion worth of shoes from China last year, although some manufacturers have been shifting production elsewhere, especially to Vietnam and Cambodia. Pixabay

The U.S. leader said that if American companies did not like the tariffs on Chinese imports, they could move their production inside the United States or to another country whose manufactured products are not taxed when they are sent to the U.S. But the footwear lobby rejected Trump’s suggestion.

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“Footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies cannot simply move factories to adjust to these changes,” the industry told Trump.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has published a list of products that would be covered by the expanded tariffs and set a hearing for June 17. (VOA)

Next Story

US President Donald Trump Raises a Possibility of Huawei Being a Part of US-China Trade Deal

The Chinese government denies stealing intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices

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Donald Trump, Trolled, Twitter
Trump's remarks came a day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that US astronauts would not be able to make a lunar landing . VOA

US President Donald Trump has raised the possibility of easing restrictions on Huawei as part of a broader trade deal with Beijing, despite labelling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous”.

The comments on Thursday, which appear to run counter to Washington’s hardline policy on Huawei, come just a week after the US Department of Commerce placed the company on a trade blacklist, effectively barring it from conducting business with US companies, CNN reported.

“Huawei is something that’s very dangerous” from a security standpoint, Trump told reporters on Thursday.

But then he floated the idea of using the Chinese tech firm as leverage in the ongoing trade negotiations with China.

“It’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of trade deal,” Trump said. “If we made a deal, I can imagine Huawei being included in some form of, some part of a trade deal.”

In response to Trump, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Gao Feng said: “Recently the US is frequently using ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ to suppress Chinese enterprises. China urges the US to stop the wrongdoings to avoid further impact on the China-US trade relations.

US, Huawei CEO, China Ties
FILE – A man uses two smartphones at once outside a Huawei store in Beijing, May 20, 2019. VOA

“If the US would like to continue to talk, it should show its sincerity and correct its wrong actions.”

The US has long branded Huawei – the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and the No. 2 smartphone brand – as a security risk.

The Trump administration has been pressuring allies to restrict Huawei equipment in the build out of their 5G networks, citing national security concerns. Washington fears that Beijing could use Huawei equipment to spy on other countries, but has not provided any evidence that such acts have occurred.

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Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose a security risk, noting that Beijing has never requested access to its equipment and if it did, the company would refuse to comply, reports CNN.

The Chinese government denies stealing intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the dispute over Huawei could deepen, reiterating the security risk posed by Huawei’s technology and saying he expects other international companies to elect not to use their products. (IANS)