PPAI has joined the American Apparel & Footwear Association and more than 60 corporations and other groups in submitting a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), opposing proposals made by textile industry representatives to levy tariffs on U.S. textile and apparel imports from China. The proposals were made at a Section 301 hearing on proposed actions in response to the federal government’s investigation of China’s trade practices.

PPAI and its cosigners note that the tariffs are a hidden, regressive tax on U.S. consumers, and applaud the USTR for not including these products on the original proposed list of items that was published early last month. The letter emphasizes the groups’ support for holding U.S. trading partners accountable and using targeted trade remedies against intellectual property theft and other proven trade violations, but notes that further taxing legitimately traded consumer products is not the solution.

“Imposing additional tariffs on U.S. imports of textiles and apparel from China, which already generate more than $5 billion in U.S. tariffs annually, would disproportionately hurt U.S. consumers, U.S. workers and U.S. companies,” the letter states. “These tariffs would not hurt China. The textile and apparel supply chain cannot simply shift outside China without massive disruption and cost increases due to materials availability, quality, compliance and capacity in other countries. Moreover, because China accounts for such a large percentage of the apparel and textiles imported into the United States for consumption or further manufacturing, any additional tariffs would likely translate into added costs and price increases in the United States.

“Millions of U.S. jobs in our industry’s global value chain—including those in design, supply chain, manufacturing, compliance, logistics and retail—would be put at risk if a new 25 percent tax were imposed due to fewer sales, less investment and wide spread harm across U.S. supply chains. Such an outcome would undermine economic growth at a time when unemployment is falling and economic growth is strong. It would also surely not be consistent with the administration’s stated Section 301 algorithm for avoiding U.S. economic damage, including harm to U.S. consumers.”