Walmart warns Trump tariffs may force price hikes - letter




FILE PHOTO: Walmart store in Encinitas, California
FILE PHOTO: Walmart store in Encinitas, California  

(Reuters) - Walmart Inc (WMT.N) said that it may hike prices of products if the Trump administration imposes a tariff on Chinese imports, according to a letter the company wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer two weeks ago and seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The letter comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, in its letter said the tariff would impact prices of everything from food products to beverages and personal care items.

Walmart confirmed it sent the letter and in a statement to Reuters urged the two countries to find solutions.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier this week, Trump escalated his trade war with China by imposing 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion (£151 billion) worth of Chinese imports, including consumer products like gas grills, luggage and travel bags, mattresses and helmets.

"As the largest retailer in the United States and a major buyer of U.S. manufactured goods, we are very concerned about the impacts these tariffs would have on our business, our customers, our suppliers and the U.S. economy as a whole," Walmart wrote in its letter to Lighthizer.

In its list of consumer products that could be affected by these tariffs, Walmart included gas grills, bicycles, Christmas lights and bicycles.

CNN Money reported the news first, citing Walmart's letter.


(Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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