The Wall Street Journal: More than 100 trade groups lobby White House against China tariffs

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WASHINGTON — The business coalition opposing White House plans to levy tariffs against Chinese goods has doubled to 107 trade groups, ranging from such Washington, D.C. heavyweights as the National Retail Federation and the Security Industry Association to such smaller local groups as the San Diego Customs Brokers Association.

The group’s latest lobbying effort is a letter addressed to the chairman and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee warning that “the impact of a trade war and tariffs would be felt by businesses, workers, farmers, consumers throughout the U.S. and across industry sectors.”

The group wants the Trump administration to drop its plans to levy tariffs on as much as $150 billion of imports from China to force Beijing to end what the administration alleges are violations of U.S. intellectual property rights. Instead, the group urged the U.S. to lead an international coalition opposed to Chinese practices that would include “clearly defined objectives, deadlines and immediate negotiations with China.”

According to the letter, organized by the National Retail Federation, which hosts periodic meetings of the group, tariffs “will not effectively advance our shared goal” of changing objectionable Chinese practices, including forced technology transfers and improper government subsidies. Tariffs, the letter argues, are “hidden, regressive taxes that will be paid by U.S. businesses and consumers in the form of higher product prices.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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