US official acknowledges consumers will pay some tariff costs




Mnuchin said much of the tariffs
Mnuchin said much of the tariffs' cost could be mitigated by various factors  

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday acknowledged that consumers may pay higher prices as a result of the steep tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.

Mnuchin's remarks were at odds with the message hammered by President Donald Trump, who claims China pays for the tariffs, creating a windfall for the US government.

"There may in some cases be an impact passed on to our consumers," Mnuchin said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

He also said he had spoken to senior executives at Walmart and other mega retailers about which consumer products were most likely see prices spike due to the trade battle with Beijing.

"I just spoke to many of these CEOs... there may be a small number of items where the tariffs may be passed on."

However, Mnuchin stressed that the administration has not yet decided whether to hit an additional $300 billion in imports with tariffs, extending punitive US duties to virtually everything the United States buys from China.

And price increases can be softened by exempting some categories of goods, Mnuchin said.

He also acknowledged that depreciation of the Chinese currency can counteract the price hikes.

"We've made no decision on the subject... If we issue an exemption there will be no price increase," he said.

"I don't expect that there will be significant costs for American families."

- Suspicious activity reports -

The US Trade Representative's office is due to hold public hearings next month on the $300 billion tariff round, to hear from the public and companies affected, but many already have expressed stiff opposition to the new tariffs, including apparel and shoe manufacturers and retailers.

The warned the new tariffs would be "catastrophic" and would raise consumer prices considerably.

Retail chain Target said Wednesday during an earnings call with analysts that the new tariffs would hit consumers. But the company is working with suppliers and its supply chain to mitigate price increases.

Trump this month decided to more than double tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, claiming Beijing had suddenly backtracked in this year's trade negotiations, which drew further retaliation from Beijing.

Both sides have said they expect to resume talks but have not set a date.

Mnuchin reiterated Wednesday that Trump was likely to meet his Chinese counterpart late next month during the Group of 20 summit in Japan.

Lawmakers asked Mnuchin about a recent New York Times report that cited multiple sources who claimed Deutsche Bank officials had suppressed internal warnings of suspicious financial activities involving organizations tied to Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

He said he would review the matter with the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to make sure the bank completes and submits suspicious activity reports.

"I am not aware of whether this is true or not true but we will have FinCEN follow up."

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. sues ex-Trump aide Omarosa, alleges failure to file required financials
U.S. sues ex-Trump aide Omarosa, alleges failure to file required financials

The government is seeking a civil fine of up to $50,000 from Omarosa, who spent 11 months as director of communications in the White House Office of Public Liaison before her December 2017 dismissal. Omarosa, as she is typically known, was accused of violating the Ethics in Government Act by not filing the report, which was required because her salary exceeded $124,406, despite several oral and written reminders from White House ethics lawyers.

Trump appears to name the wrong Iranian leader when announcing sanctions on Iran
Trump appears to name the wrong Iranian leader when announcing sanctions on Iran

The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was Iran's Supreme Leader from 1979 to 1989. He died in 1989 and was succeeded by the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

President Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran as regime accuses US of 'economic' terrorism
President Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran as regime accuses US of 'economic' terrorism

The new sanctions were aimed at retaliating against Iran for shooting down a U.S. drone last week.

US Fed like a
US Fed like a 'stubborn child': Trump

US President Donald Trump on Monday renewed his attacks on the Federal Reserve, saying the central bank's reluctance to cut interest rates was standing in the way of blowout economic expansion. "Despite a Federal Reserve that doesn't know what it is doing... we are on course to have one

House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway
House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has cited Conway for multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.