Walmart says customers will see higher prices due to Trump's China tariffs

Consumers will see higher prices as a result of tariffs, Walmart warned in a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative. (Benchapple, Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0 via MGN)

Walmart, America's largest retailer, warned the Trump administration that new tariffs on Chinese goods will hit American consumers and businesses.

The company sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Sept. 9, warning, "The immediate impact will be to raise prices on consumers and tax American business and manufacturers."

Prices on numerous Chinese-made goods and consumer essentials will rise, according to the company. "Should the tariffs go into effect, Walmart customers will face cost increases for essential items like car seats, cribs, backpacks, hats, pet products and bicycles," wrote Sarah Thorn, Walmart's director of global government affairs. "For lower-income families, a 25% tax on these items would be a serious burden on household finances."

Walmart included a lengthy list of products it hopes the administration will remove from the list of tariffs announced earlier this month. The list includes shampoo, luggage, gas grills, air conditioners, video cable and extension cords, futons, furniture, baby products, mattresses, electric razors and others.

The Trump administration formally announced it was imposing a 10 percent tariff $200 billion worth of Chinese goods Monday. The duties will affect more than 5,000 products. China responded by announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports.

In a statement Friday, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company sent the letter out of concern for the impact on U.S. suppliers, consumers, manufacturers and the global market. "We encourage the two countries to find near-term solutions to ease trade tensions that will allow more opportunities for U.S. exports and benefit families in both countries," Hargrove wrote.

The United States and China have already imposed higher import taxes on $50 billion worth of each country's goods. Earlier this month, Trump told reporters he had another $267 billion in tariffs "ready to go on short notice." If those duties went into effect it would cover the entire balance of Chinese exports to the United States.

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