BEIJING – The biggest US corporations in China made a request to President Trump on Thursday: Please stop with the tariffs.
A survey of AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai found that nearly two-thirds of more than 430 US companies in China say that the tariffs that Trump set billions of dollars this summer are damaging their businesses.
Nearly half of respondents in the retail, food and manufacturing sectors say that production costs have increased, and 42 percent said they see lower demand for their products.
Only six percent said they would consider relocating factories to US soil.
AmCham chairman William Zarit said US economic leaders want Trump to reconsider his proposed charges for an additional $ 200 billion in Chinese imports, including many consumer goods. The new frontier taxes are expected to come into force in the autumn.
"The US government is risking a downward spiral of attacks and counter-attacks that nobody will benefit from," Zarit said in a statement.
Sixty-four percent of the companies responding to AmCham's survey, which took place between August 29 and September 5, said that the first round of tariffs Trump hit on $ 50 billion of Chinese imports this year Negative impact on their business Percent said the same about the same amount of duties that Beijing had imposed in retaliation.
Half of the interviewees stated that they experienced more controls, late customs clearance and other forms of more stringent regulatory controls.
Eric Zheng, chairman of AmCham Shanghai, said he supports the government's goal of persuading Beijing to overtake commercial practices that Trump considers unfair. The White House has accused China of forcing US companies to affiliate with local companies and steal their intellectual property, among other things.
"We support President Trump's efforts to re-launch US-China trade relations, eliminate long-standing inequalities and level the playing field," Zheng said in a statement. "But we can do this by other means than flat rates."
Trump tries to close what he has struck as a major trade deficit. But the Chinese government has refused to submit to the demands of the White House and vowed to retaliate against every American strike.
If the president lives up to his threat to quadruple the commercial battle, Beijing has said it will beat taxes of up to 25 percent on 5.207 kinds of American imports. The list contains industrial parts, chemicals and medical instruments.
Chinese officials have described the targets as "measured and cautious" and repeatedly stated that the United States has forced Beijing to take action that will ultimately hurt both countries.
China has also warned that it may trigger "qualitative" measures that US corporations have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stifled visas and other bureaucratic headaches.
AmCham's poll results come one day after more than 60 US industry groups have formed a coalition called the Americans For Free Trade, which aims to stop the plans proposed by the White House. The multi-million dollar campaign, made up of thousands of businesses, farmers and manufacturers, argues that the trade war will wreak havoc on jobs in the US and raise prices for American households.
So far, no trade negotiations are planned between the United States and China.
But Larry Kudlow, head of the White House Economic Council, told Fox Business Network Wednesday that Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin has invited high-ranking Chinese officials to resume talks.