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Trump keeps textile products out of tariff basket

"While the Trump administration is slapping tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, it has spared the clothing and footwear industry of China but the news is not a positive one. As per official statement, the actual shirts and shoes imported from China won’t get new tariffs, according to the full list of 1,102 product lines, and only some of the equipment used to make them, like textile rolling-machine parts and injection molders for shoes, were included in the final list. A host of other Chinese machinery used by American apparel companies that had been on a preliminary tariff list – like textile printing equipment, sewing machines and looms – are still in the safe zone."

 

Trump keeps textile products out of tariff basket 001While the Trump administration is slapping tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, it has spared the clothing and footwear industry of China but the news is not a positive one. As per official statement, the actual shirts and shoes imported from China won’t get new tariffs, according to the full list of 1,102 product lines, and only some of the equipment used to make them, like textile rolling-machine parts and injection molders for shoes, were included in the final list. A host of other Chinese machinery used by American apparel companies that had been on a preliminary tariff list – like textile printing equipment, sewing machines and looms – are still in the safe zone.

Rick Helfenbein, President, American Apparel & Footwear Association, says the association applauds the decision to remove most of the equipment and machinery used in its domestic textile, apparel and footwear manufacturing that were proposed by the administration in April. Levying a tariff on these items would have increased costs for domestic manufacturers across the industry, leading to higher prices and lower sales.

On the other hand, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) wants the tariff to be applied toTrump keeps textile products out of tariff basket 002 clothing, high-performance fabrics and home furnishings like carpet to slow the flow of Chinese imports that it claims have hurt the domestic industry. It would have a greater deterring effect, however, if more textile and apparel end products were included, said Auggie Tantillo, President, NCTO.

But the fear of retaliation is still looming large, as Helfenbein says. China previously identified almost $1 billion worth of American cotton exports to China as a target, which will hurt American farmers and US textile manufacturers, and add costs to their supply chains. Ramping up tariffs doesn’t help bilateral trade talks reach a successful conclusion, he added. Amid the fear, Trump pledged additional tariffs if the country follows through on the threats. The first set of tariffs will total $34 billion and take effect from July 6, with another $16 billion still to be reviewed, the US Trade Representative said.

A study from the National Retail Federation and the Consumer Technology Association found imposing tariffs of $50 billion on Chinese imports, coupled with retaliation, would reduce US GDP by nearly $3 billion and eliminate 134,000 American jobs annually. Tariffs are taxes on American consumers, plain and simple, Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, said in a statement. These tariffs won’t reduce or eliminate China’s abusive trade practices, but they will strain the budgets of working families by raising consumer prices.

 
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