The nation’s largest retailer trade group is continuing to press the Biden Administration to repeal tariffs on Chinese goods that remain on the books after first being levied by former president Trump in an effort to stem “unfair” trade practices.
Citing rising inflation as measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said that repealing tariffs is one of the most effective economic tools to reduce inflation and shrink prices.
“This report showing that rampant inflation continues is one more reason for the administration to move quickly to repeal tariffs,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a release. “Independent researchers and government agencies agree that ending tariffs is the fastest way to relieve the pressure of higher prices that American businesses, workers, and consumers are facing every day. While the Federal Reserve continues with its long-term strategy to stem inflation, we need the administration and Congress to move forward on steps to lower prices that can be taken immediately.”
Business groups such as the NRF have consistently opposed trade wars, saying that when retailers are forced to pay import tariffs, they typically pass most of that added cost on to consumers, leading to higher store prices and potential inflation.
American manufacturers such as the Industrial Truck Association have posted similar complaints, saying that when they pay higher prices for raw materials such as imported steel, they can absorb only so much of that impact through smaller profit margins. The rest gets added to the cost of goods, including material handling equipment ranging from basic racks and shelving to intermodal boxes, shipping containers, conveyors, and lift trucks.
According to an NRF ad campaign, tariffs on goods from China have cost U.S. importers $136.5 billion since 2018 and have driven up prices for American consumers, costing the average family more than $1,200 a year.