Retail Groups Encouraged By U.S./China Trade Deal Progress

The National Retail Federation and other associations welcomed news that the U.S. and China have agreed on a “phase one” trade deal, according to recent media reports.

“For the first time in months, the U.S. and China are moving in the right direction on tariffs, and we congratulate negotiators from both sides for the progress they have made,” said David French, NRF, svp/government relations. “Tariffs create uncertainty and costs for American retail supply chains, and the trade war won’t be over until they are eliminated completely. We agree that we need to realign our relationship with China, but tariffs that harm American businesses, workers and consumers are not the answer and cannot be allowed to continue.”

The expected signing comes after NRF said the association and other members of the Americans for Free Trade coalition sent President Trump a letter asking that tariffs that were set to take effect on Sunday, December 15, be suspended. Reports indicate that the agreement cancels those tariffs and will reduce tariffs that took effect in September but that earlier tariffs will remain in effect.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said he was encouraged by the announcement of a “phase one” trade deal with China and the administration’s decision to reduce existing tariffs and postpone List 4B tariffs on Chinese imports.

Shapiro said, “We applaud President Trump for making an initial deal with China that enforces fair trade practices and addresses critical tech priorities including intellectual property (IP) protections and forced technology transfer. It is a significant step toward ending this costly trade war. The partial tariff rollback is also welcome news. We look forward to learning more detail on the tariff removal and urge the White House to make those rollbacks quickly and permanently. Achieving IP and tech transfer concessions is important, and we also encourage the Chinese government to make needed their necessary changes transparently and swiftly.”