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As New Trade Rep. Comes Onboard, Retail Sets Sights on Tariffs

With the Senate’s unopposed confirmation on Wednesday of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the retail industry has put forth a trade policy wishlist aimed at cutting tariffs on apparel imports.

The issue of raised tariffs on finished goods imports from China has particularly vexed the clothing and apparel retail industry, which has argued that such import taxes lead to retailers transferring additional costs to consumers. During the prior administration of former President Donald Trump, increased tariffs on Chinese imports went into effect on various categories of merchandise, including apparel, following a U.S. probe under the Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. After earlier rounds of tariff increases, the ensuing phase one deal between the U.S. and China in 2019 averted certain tariff increases, though the average tariffs on Chinese imports stands at roughly 19 percent, according to the Peterson Institute for International economics.


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