About 320 U.S. company and trade association representatives are set to appear over seven days of hearings starting Monday on President Donald Trump’s latest proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative announced.
Among those scheduled to speak are retailers including Best Buy Co., New Balance Athletics Inc. and Jo-Ann Stores LLC, manufacturers and major industry trade groups such as the National Retail Federation, American Apparel & Footwear Association and Consumer Technology Association.
It’s the fourth round of hearings, after Trump levied duties on $250 billion of products last year. As talks on a trade deal with China faltered last month, he ordered a tariff increase to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of goods and targeted an additional $300 billion in products, including laptops, footwear, mobile phones and other consumer goods.
If the president follows through, tariffs would cover essentially all imports from the Asian nation.
Companies and trade groups are generally saying in public comments that while they support the administration’s efforts to crack down on allegations of Chinese theft of intellectual property and other unfair trade practices, they object to using tariffs as the tool because it raises prices for consumers and sometimes can’t be passed along, hurting their businesses.
The tariffs could be imposed after a seven-day rebuttal period following the last day of the hearings. Trump has threatened to raise tariffs if Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t meet with him at the G-20 leaders’ meeting from June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan.
The president is still waiting for a response from Xi about meeting to restart trade talks, economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Thursday.