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Tariffs Will Hike Prices, Sale And Jobs Would Be Lost: US Industry Leader

Tariffs Will Hike Prices, Sale And Jobs Would Be Lost: US Industry Leader
According to a US industry association leader, American consumers have to pay higher prices for products later on because of the US tariffs on Chinese products.
"We're having some serious problems with this tariffs situation," said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO at the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
"This is disruptive to our supply chains this is hurtful to our business," he added.
Helfenbein was talking at a time when the US and china have imposed a second round of tariffs on each other’s goods worth $16 billion.
"What's going to happen down the road is very simple — prices will go up, sales will go down, jobs will be lost. This will have a negative impact on the economy," Helfenbein said in a television interview. 
Helfenbein said that the apparel and footwear industry would be hard hit because of the tariffs since imports from China account for 41 percent of all apparel, 72 percent of all footwear and 84 percent of all accessories imported into the U.S.
He said that the sourcing options are limited because China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia account for most of the imports.
"Where are you going to go? People have been trying to diversify for years. You just can't up and move, so prices are going to come to the consumer and that will come sooner versus later," he said during the interview.
He added that the American consumers would be hit by raised prices because of the tariffs in the next six to nine months despite the fact that the American retail segment is doing well currently.  

"We are watching the Titanic sail out of port here; this is not a good thing," he said.
He said that a further blow to the industry would be dealt if the US president Donald Trump actually imposes tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports as he has threatened.
"There are issues, but to the extent of taxing yourself to solve this, that's crazy. That's like punishing your son for something your daughter did. It doesn't make sense," he added.
The world's two largest economies there have bene several meetings between the top leaders of China and the US – the two largest economies of the world, ever since Trump took office in order to identify some common ground on issues of trade even as the US president has been repeatedly accusing the China of unfair trade practices and the huge trade deficit that the US has with China.
A statement of the Chinese Commerce Ministry said that the two countries had a "constructive and frank" dialogue. No details of the talks were provided in the statement but pledged that the two countries would stay in touch for next steps.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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