Sandy Hill, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which organized the letter, argued that tariffs would eliminate any benefit the tax bill provided the economy.
"We support holding our trading partners accountable and using targeted trade remedies against intellectual property theft, illegal dumping or subsidies, and other proven trade violations", the letter states.
The White House indicated they would consider remedial actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act as part of their investigation into unfair Chinese technology and intellectual property policies and practices. The decision on further action against China is expected soon, perhaps this week. The retaliation package could include widespread tariffs on consumer goods, like electronics, apparel, footwear, and home goods.
The administration is also considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the USA and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter. "We must do right by American families while also addressing harmful technology practices".
Larry Kudlow, the president's new National Economic Council director, has openly stated his opposition to the prior set of tariffs yet has urged Trump to take a "tough" economic stance on China.
"As the industry closest to consumers, retailers know firsthand how high tariffs will hurt American families", noted Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C. -based NRF. "Higher tariffs will mean higher costs to businesses and in turn higher prices for American families".
The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices.
The letter, sent by RILA and signed by a wide array of popular and well-known, leading U.S. retailers clearly shows the lack of support from the group of Trump's proposed tariffs on China imports into the country.
The 45 groups include some of the biggest USA industries, including the Consumer Technology Association and the National Retail Federation, whose members include large corporations including Walmart (WMT) and Apple (APPL). "If the administration's latest proposal goes into effect, Americans will see price increases on a wide range of basic products they purchase regularly at their local stores".
A recent study by the Trade Partnership, a Washington D.C. -based consulting firm, estimated that Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum would result in a net loss of almost 470,000 U.S.jobs after accounting for positive impacts on USA steel and aluminum producers.