PPAI has joined with 79 businesses and trade organizations in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer opposing the proposed increase, from 25 percent to 30 percent, on the third list of Chinese imports subject to tariffs. The list includes consumer and commercial products, such as travel goods, specialty clothing, headwear, accessories and textiles from China. The letter requests the USTR to exempt products on list three from the increase which went into effect October 1.

The letter notes: “The 25-percent tax that is currently being imposed has already emerged as a huge cost burden that is resulting in price increases, job losses and other irreversible economic damage in the United States. The proposed tax increase will only magnify these problems, coming entirely at the expense of U.S. firms, including those with manufacturing operations in the United States and the American customers they serve.

“None of the items we produce in China—items such as travel goods, specialty clothing, headwear, accessories and textiles—are in any way connected to the underlying disputes relating to forced technology transfer or the Made in 2025 initiative. Although some of these items do experience intellectual property (IP) theft, the tariff rate increase on legitimate merchandise will only make the IP problem worse by increasing the reward for counterfeiters.

“At the same time, these extra tariffs will create disproportionate harm to U.S. companies and consumers. In addition to losing market share to counterfeiters, legitimate companies who pay these new taxes are forced to make difficult choices, such as raising prices, foregoing investments, and laying off workers. Further, one year after the first punitive tariffs were applied, we can clearly see that supply chains cannot easily relocate outside of China quickly or at all. Thus, these tariffs will be increasingly borne by companies that are less able to find alternatives outside of China.”