Organization Urges Trump Administration to Include Apparel and Made-Up Textiles in Next Round of Chinese Tariffs

As the trade war between the United States and China intensifies, members of the National Council of Textile Organizations have been urging the Trump administration to include apparel and certain textile items in the next round of tariffs.

Currently, apparel, home furnishings and made-up textiles are not part of the $200 billion in Chinese goods subject to a 25 percent tariff that increased from 10 percent on imports entering the United States after June 15.

Now, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, is considering a new round of tariffs, called Tranche 4, which would impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion in Chinese goods covering just about everything imported from China.

Kim Glas, the president and chief executive of the National Council of Textile Organizations, testified on June 20 in Washington, D.C., that the United States should slap tariffs on more products to crack down on China’s abuse of intellectual-property rights.

She called for tariffs to be imposed on apparel, home furnishings and made-up textiles, which make up 93.5 percent of U.S. imports from China in the textile and apparel sector while fiber, yarn and fabric imports from China represent only 6.5 percent.

“If the United States truly wants to resolve China’s rampant IPR abuse, pillar sectors of the Chinese economy will need to be included,” Glas said at a U.S. Trade Representative hearing. “Leaving sectors that are highly sensitive within China’s economy off the list has actually weakened U.S. leverage throughout the negotiating process, delaying a long overdue remedy to this systemic trade problem.”

However, Glas urged the administration not to put tariffs on imports removed from the previous retaliatory tariff lists. These inputs include certain machinery, dyes, chemicals and textile components not available domestically, such as rayon staple fiber.

“Adding tariffs on imports of manufacturing inputs that are not made in the U.S. in effect raises the cost for American companies and makes them less competitive with China,” she said.