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US business leaders oppose Trump tariffs

June 18, 2018

There has been a hue and cry in the US business world following President Trump’s new tariffs, which he has proposed to impose on $50 billion (€43.1 billion) of Chinese imports.

Almost two weeks after the Imaging Supplies Coalition expressed concern that President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on Chinese imports would be “ineffective and counterproductive”, US business leaders are now joining the opposition and also expressing their “stiff opposition.”

As the Financial Times reports, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have both issued warnings that the tariffs and subsequent Chinese backlash “would harm US manufacturers, farmers and consumers.”

“This is not the right approach,” commented Tom Donohue, Chamber of Commerce president.

“Risking a potential trade war is the wrong way to fix these problems,” stated the Roundtable.

While US businesses have previously reacted positively to President Trump’s measures, such as his cutting of corporate tax rates at the end of last year, now a new poll conducted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants revealed that “38 percent of the executives it polled were concerned about potential conflicts between the US and its trading partners”. In addition, 40 percent of those polled stated that “US tariffs or retaliatory measures would hurt their businesses.”

Gary Cohn, former head of the National Economic Council, has expressed the view that “a trade war could wipe out the boost that business had gained from tax reforms.”

Meanwhile Peter Quinter, Chair of the customs law committee of the American Bar Association, who numbers Chinese exporters among his clients, has also issued a warning regarding Trump’s tariffs.

Referring to the President’s protectionist ideology, first revealed in speeches he made three years ago when he first began campaigning to become President, Quinter said “The rhetoric for the first time has reached a level where it is real”.

Quinter went on to say, “A trade spat? That happens but a trade war between the two greatest economic powers in the history of the United States is very dangerous.”

 

 

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