Apple, Keurig Dr Pepper, Dollar Tree press U.S. to drop China tariff plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc and Dollar Tree Inc have joined other companies in their opposition to a Trump administration plan for more U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, including iPhones, Macs, and single-serve coffee brewers.

The United States and China are resuming talks to end a trade war after more than a month's hiatus. The countries' leaders are expected to meet at the G20 in Japan next week.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said he would consider extending tariffs to another $300 billion of Chinese goods if his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping does not yield progress on the trade dispute.

The new round of tariffs would reduce Apple's competitiveness and reduce the contribution it could make to the U.S. Treasury, Apple said in an online filing on Thursday.

Apple is the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer to the U.S. treasury and pledged in 2018 its plans to directly contribute over $350 billion to the U.S. economy over five years, according to an online filing posted on Thursday.

Apple said it would also take a hit because Chinese and other non-U.S. firms do not have a significant U.S. market presence.

"A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors," Apple said.

The levies would also hit Airpods, AppleTVs and batteries and parts.

Coffee and beverage firm Keurig Dr Pepper and technology giant Apple are among the latest U.S. companies to press the Trump administration to abandon plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on another $300 billion of Chinese imports.

Companies such as Dell Technologies Inc , HP Inc , and Walmart Inc have already voiced their opposition.

Officials are in the fourth of seven days of hearings for U.S. manufacturers, retailers and other businesses to weigh in on the proposal, which would extend tariffs to nearly all Chinese imports. Individuals and companies can also file their comments to an online docket.

FROM COMPUTERS TO K-CUPS

Some 88 percent of all coffee brewers sold in the United States are imported from China, Keurig counsel said in its public comments. The company's own brewers are in over 28 million homes and used in more than 1 million hotel rooms, the letter to the U.S. Trade Representative's Office said.

"This is significant, for the manufacturers directly affected and coffee-drinking U.S. consumers who will have no choice but to pay higher prices for coffee brewers, or forgo their daily morning brew," the company said.

Many U.S. firms rely on China to source a vast array of products. Finding alternative suppliers will raise costs, in many cases more than the 25% tariffs, some witnesses have this week told a panel of officials from USTR, the Commerce Department, State Department and other federal agencies.

The proposed list, which will be ready for a decision by Trump as early as July 2, includes nearly all consumer products. It has been loudly opposed by retailers like Dollar Tree, which is one of the top 50 U.S. employers and seventh largest importer, the company said in its public comments.

"Simply put, the imposition of an additional 25% duty on the types of everyday, household products that we offer will have a significant and disproportionate negative impact on middle- and low-income American households," Dollar Tree said.

The tariffs could also hit Christmas sales hard, particularly cellphones, computers, toys and electronic gadgets.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; editing by Simon Webb and Jonathan Oatis)

06/20/2019 18:33

News, Photo and Web Search