The US National Retail Federation (NRF) expressed its disappointment over the latest announcement by President Donald Trump to impose a 10 per cent tariff on a further $300 bn worth Chinese imports, saying the administration is doubling-down on a ‘flawed’ tariff strategy. The National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO), however, welcomed Trump’s announcement.

The government’s tariff strategy is “already slowing US economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment. These additional tariffs will only threaten US jobs and raise costs for American families on everyday goods,” NRF Senior Vice President for government relations David French said in a statement.

“The tariffs imposed over the past year haven’t worked, and there’s no evidence another tax increase on American businesses and consumers will yield new results. We urge the administration to bring our allies to the table and find new tools beyond tariffs to achieve better trade relations,” French added.

NCTO, which represents the full spectrum of the US textile sector from fibre to finished sewn products, said in a statement that Chinese imports of finished goods into the US market, which have had the most significant impact and disruption on domestic textile and apparel production, investment and jobs, will finally be included in the administration’s retaliatory tariffs.

“China’s rampant abuse of intellectual property rights and IP [intellectual property] theft has gone on far too long at the direct expense of the US textile industry and its supply chain, resulting in the loss of US manufacturing jobs in this critical sector,” said NCTO President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Glas.

Finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods constitute 93.5 per cent of US imports from China in the textile sector, while fibre, yarn and fabric imports from there are a mere 6.5 per cent, NCTO said.

“We believe this move will lead to more re-shoring of production to the United States and the Western Hemisphere production platform—and will also address and mitigate China’s rampant trade distortions,” Glas said.

While NCTO supports the inclusion of finished products in Tranche 4 of the retaliatory tariffs, the textile industry has very serious concerns that certain inputs already vetted by the US Administration and removed from previous retaliatory tariff lists are on this list. These inputs include but are not limited to machinery, dyes and chemicals and textile components not available domestically, like rayon staple fibre, NCTO added.