WASHINGTON—The Auto Care Association, the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among 45 trade associations that sent a letter to President Trump asking him not to levy tariffs against goods imported from China.
While China's trade policies and practices cause serious concern to all U.S. business, the March 18 letter said, any actions taken against China should be measured and commercially meaningful.
"The imposition of sweeping tariffs would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy, provoking retaliation; stifling U.S. agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers," it said.
Tariffs would affect Chinese shippers, but they also would harm U.S. companies that sell component pieces of final products exported from China, the associations said.
Additionally, community service providers in health care, education and emergency response would be impacted, according to the letter.
"These essential services rely heavily on consumer electronics and other imported goods, and would be negatively affected by increased costs," it said.
Tariffs on electronics, apparel and other consumer goods would merely increase prices to U.S. consumers and businesses without addressing the core problem of unfair Chinese trade practices, the letter said.
"These increased costs would effectively levy a tax on U.S. consumers and businesses, negating gains for American workers from U.S. tax reform," it said.
The groups contend that tariffs also would hurt U.S. manufacturing exports by disrupting existing supply chains.
"This would have a negative impact on American jobs," it said. "In 2017, manufactured goods made up more than 85 percent of U.S. exported goods, totaling $1.3 trillion."
Tariffs also pose a risk of reduced consumption of products, potentially reducing the Gross Domestic Product by $11 billion, the letter said.
This is the second time in a month the ACA has protested tariffs to the Trump administration. On March 12, four days after President Trump signed his tariff order against imported steel and aluminum, the ACA sent Trump a letter asking him to reconsider the tariffs.