That's the case US retailers are trying to make in their collective effort to urge President Trump against imposing sweeping tariffs on imports from China-a move they say will serve to increase consumer prices.
Many worry that if Trump follows through with these proposed tariffs, China might retaliate, triggering a trade war that could have drastic effects on the US economy. Trump justified the tariffs by invoking Section 232 of a 1960s trade law, which allows the president to unilaterally impose sanctions if imports are found to be a threat to national security.
China, the largest source of the trade imbalance, would likely respond to any tariffs by retaliating with higher import taxes on US goods, among other possible restrictions.
The Trump administration "should not respond to unfair Chinese practices and policies by imposing tariffs or other measures that will harm United States companies, workers, farmers, ranchers, consumers, and investors".
But even if these are granted, companies could be forced to pay higher costs due to tariffs on their imported products for up to three months.
And that has the retail industry extremely concerned.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have largely been shut out of administration deliberations, fear tariffs would stunt economic benefits in the USA that could be stemming from the GOP tax cuts. According to a policy brief released by the Trade Partnership, a Washington-based pro-trade think tank, Trump's tariffs will wipe out about 179,000 jobs-including an estimated 28,000 jobs in the construction industry.
On Monday, US retailers voiced concern that Trump's plan for tariffs on Chinese goods will result in higher consumer prices. The U.S. already levies the highest tariff on consumer goods (as high as 32 percent on basic clothes and 67 percent on shoes) among all categories of products. But if he follows through with these tariffs, he'd be the first to ensure there are real consequences for these violations. These new tariffs could weaken the recent consolidation of Harley Davidson production from Kansas City, Mo.to York, Pa., as 450 new positions have just been announced at the York facility. To apply the tariff on those imports seems a "trifle odd". "I'm sure the president doesn't want to raise the prices of those and send Apple's stock into the toilet". He has also been clear that any potential trade wars these actions might stir up, could be easily won.
The Trump administration is pressing countries to ally with the United States in pushing back against Chinese trade policies in exchange for relief from American tariffs on steel and aluminium, according to a European official.
"Given the price sensitive of our products, any additional increases in our costs would strike right at the heart of our ability to keep product competitively prices for our consumers", the letter went on. "We can not allow this to happen as it has for many years!"
Still, Trump's approach to China has been uneven.
"As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices", the letter stated.
And those focused on the footwear sector, in particular, have their own suggestions.
The letter ends with comments on working with the Government on a pro-growth agenda "that benefits hard working American families".
The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property and investment practices.