"Tit for tat trade war is a real risk," says Toy Association's Steve Pasierb

Overnight, Donald Trump moved to whack a 10 per cent tariff on around $200bn worth of Chinese imports beginning next week, with threats to increase the rate to 25 per cent next year if no deal was reached.
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The overnight activity of the White House has been labelled as a ‘real risk and real concern’ in a ‘tit for tat tariff war,’ by the president and chairman of the Toy Association, Steve Pasierb.

Overnight, Donald Trump moved to whack a 10 per cent tariff on around $200bn worth of Chinese imports beginning next week, with threats to increase the rate to 25 per cent next year if no deal was reached.

The move represents a sharp escalation of the ongoing trade war that now encompasses around 6,000 Chinese imports including families and children’s consumer electronics and products.

China has vowed to respond with its own round of retaliatory levies on $60 billion worth of US goods. The latest wave of tariffs means that now around half of all Chinese imports have been subjected to increased levies.

Trump has also declared that should China fail to bend to the US call for ‘fairer trading’ and access to the Chinese market, Washington will impose tariffs on all imports from China. The remainder is tipped at around $275 billion worth of goods.

The tariffs are designed by the Trump administration to force Beijing into a deal that would involve shrinking the US trade deficit with China and abandoning policies such as forced technology transfer that have long been criticised by the US.

“I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices,” said trump in a statement.

“Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi Jinping of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.”

With new tariffs now imposed, consumer costs are expected to increase in a matter of days or weeks. This has landed in the key holiday selling period for retailers and manufacturers not only in the US, but globally.

President and chairman of the Toy Association in the US, Steve Pasierb has said that the “tit for tat tariff war presents a real concern and risk.”

“The US toy industry continues to recover from the loss of Toys R Us but the journey will last through 2019. This is not a time to essentially place a tax on families and their children,” he told ToyNews.

“Any pressure that decreases consumer spending power and increases the price of toys is a negative that will be felt across our industry. US toy companies rely on global supply chain, sell around the world, and bring profits back home to America. Those facts and benefits to American quality jobs have been lost in the present tariff debate.”

The Toy Association itself has been active on the tariffs issue from the beginning, says Pasierb.

“In fact, our advocacy efforts track back all the way to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax two years ago. We haven’t stopped.

“We and our members have been on Capitol Hill, meeting with US Trade Representative and other officials to help them understand the risks to American companies and jobs. More recently, we and fellow trade associations joined together in new coalition, Americans for Free Trade, as there is strength in numbers as so many other industries and their members hold our same concerns.”

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