The Wall Street Journal: U.S. trade groups urge Trump to halt tariff plans

WASHINGTON — Forty-five trade associations, representing a wide swath of the U.S. economy, are petitioning the Trump administration to halt plans to levy tariffs on China and to work instead with other nations to press Beijing to end restrictions on foreign firms.

Imposing heavy tariffs, said a letter by the trade groups, “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.”

The White House is putting together a package of measures, including tariffs on at least an annual $30 billion of Chinese imports, to pressure Beijing to end requirements that U.S. companies transfer technology to Chinese firms, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

A decision may come this week or the next. While it may be too late for the group to fend off tariffs, it hopes at least to slow down the process. The group wants U.S. industries affected by any tariffs to be able review proposed levies and make comments before they go into effect. “We request that the administration allow industry experts the opportunity to comment on these issues, including the economic impact of any potential actions,” said the letter, which is dated Monday.

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

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