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Retailers hope for end of trade war

The National Retail Federation expressed hope that progress made during talks between President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan will lead to the end of the two countries’ trade war.

“We welcome the progress made during this meeting and hope it will result in a constructive approach to working with China to deliver significant reforms rather than one that punishes American consumers and threatens U.S. jobs through tariffs,” said NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations, David French. “Pulling back from the brink of further tariff escalation is a good sign for retailers and their customers, and we look forward to continued progress in the talks with China so that further tariffs can be avoided and existing ones lifted.”

Tariffs of 25 percent have already been imposed on $250 billion in goods from China, and the Trump administration has been considering expanding the tariffs to virtually all Chinese imports by imposing the same levy on another $300 billion. But Trump said in a news conference after the meeting with Xi that negotiations between the two countries are “back on track” and that he would hold off on new tariffs on China as the talks resume.

NRF testified at a hearing held last week by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, asking the administration to reevaluate its strategy for dealing with China. A new report prepared for NRF found the proposed new round of tariffs would cost Americans $4.4 billion each year for apparel, $3.7 billion for toys, $2.5 billion for footwear and $1.6 billion for household appliances.

NRF has been a leading opponent of tariffs, saying they are a tax on imports that drive up prices of consumer merchandise purchased by American families while increasing the cost of parts and materials used by U.S. companies to manufacture domestic products, ultimately costing many U.S. workers their jobs.

Originally posted Monday, Jul. 1, 2019