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Retailers Warn ‘Risk to U.S. Consumers Grows’ with Tariff Escalation

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued the following statement from president and CEO Matthew Shay regarding the Trump administration’s plan to move forward with additional tariffs on Chinese goods.  

“As thousands of businesses have testified and explained in comments to the administration, tariffs are a tax on American families. It’s disappointing that, despite the voices of those impacted, the administration continues to advance harmful tariff policies that threaten to weaken the U.S. economy. 

“Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to U.S. consumers grows. With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched.

“We cannot afford further escalation, especially with the holiday shopping season right around the corner. The mere talk of tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports is of serious concern to retailers since tariffs of that magnitude would touch every aspect of American life. Achieving better trade deals is an important priority, but there is nothing better about it when American families are forced to pay higher prices for everyday purchases.” 

NRF and more than 100 organizations recently launched a multi-industry coalition – Americans for Free Trade – aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefits of international trade to the U.S. economy. The new coalition is coordinating with Farmers for Free Trade in a multi-million dollar national campaign known as Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. 

The campaign is focused on telling the stories of the American businesses, farmers, workers, and families harmed by tariffs through town-hall style events, grassroots outreach to Congress and the administration, social media, rapid response, and digital advertising.

This week, the campaign is holding events in Chicago and Nashville, followed by events in Pennsylvania and Ohio next week. 

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., the NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants, and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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