Clothing and shoe imports from China will not be subject to further tariffs

Apparel and footwear products do not feature on the proposed list of 1,300 Chinese goods marked for additional US trade tariffs published by the USTR on Tuesday. However, in a potentially serious blow to the domestic development of these industries in the US, textile machinery is slated for further duties.


Apparel imports from China will not be affected by further US tariffs

The publication of the UTR’s list follows US President Donald Trump’s announcement of the government’s intention to impose tariffs on around $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. These comments, in turn, were made after the USTR published the findings of a Section 301 investigation into China’s trade practices on March 22.
 
The report alleged that China’s policies unfairly coerced US companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese companies as the country bids to establish itself as an economic leader in the advanced technology sector over the coming years.
 
According to the USTR, the list published on Tuesday targets the industries that most stand to benefit from these policies, while attempting to minimize negative effects on the US economy. Industries directly affected by the imports mentioned on the list therefore include aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.
 
While many industry bodies in the apparel and footwear sectors have expressed their relief that the tariffs do not directly target their products, a number have also warned against the potential negative effects for the sector and the wider US economy if further duties are imposed on textile machinery.
 
In a release from the American Apparel and Footwear Industry Association, Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the organization, stated, “We are pleased with the administration’s decision to avoid adding tariffs to U.S. imports of apparel, footwear, and travel goods from China. Tariffs are a hidden, regressive tax on Americans and such a decision would have had a disastrous impact on American consumers.”
 
“At the same time, we are concerned that the list includes tariffs on machinery used in our domestic manufacturing process. This would directly raise costs on domestic manufacturers and impact our ability to grow Made in USA,” he added, explaining that the Association will be expressing these concerns with the administration over the coming days.

The National Retail Federation reiterated these apprehensions in a separate release, with President and CEO Matthew Shay further commenting, “Tariffs threaten to hurt consumers, jeopardize job creation and increase the cost of doing business here in the United States.”
 
“Once again, we urge the administration to work with our trading partners to hold China accountable, advance targeted solutions and recognize the unintended consequences of protectionist trade policies,” he concluded.
 
Beijing has already responded to Washington with its own list of duties to be imposed on 106 US imports with a trade value matching the USTR’s $50 billion target.

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