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Sen. Coons hears trade war concerns from Delaware business leaders

Sarah Mueller
Sen. Coons talks about tariffs with Rehoboth Beach business owners

An escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China is likely to further impact business owners in Delaware.

Stocks tumbled after China announced Friday it is raising tariffs on $75 billion of American-made goods.

Beijing says its decision is in response to American tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese products. The first half of the U.S. tariffs go into effect September 1st - the rest begin December 15th. China’s retaliatory tariffs also take effect September 1st and December 15th.

President Donald Trump later Friday announced that starting on Oct. 1, tariffs on $250 billion of China imports will be raised to 30 percent from 25 percent. And the Sept. 1st tariffs will now be 15 percent instead of 10 percent.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) spoke with Rehoboth Beach business leaders just two days before China’s announcement. He said President Donald Trump’s trade war is already increasing costs for small businesses.

“The apparel, the footwear, the shirts, the clothing, the outerwear that Americans buy are manufactured in China," he said. "And so a majority of the apparel that’s being sold here in Rehoboth and across the United States is facing increased tariffs.”

Coons said business owners are telling him they are dealing with the added costs, despite Trump’s claims that China is bearing the full costs.

“And they either have to decide to pass those costs on to their customers and face lower sales as a result. Or they have to reduce the amount of profit they’re able to make,” he said.

Trump sent out a tweet demanding companies to move their operations from China. The White House lacks any authority to enforce such orders.

The president also attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell - suggesting he was an “enemy” for not doing more to lower interest rates.

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