U.S. companies are joining forces to oppose a common threat--tariffs

More than 140 trade associations representing businesses across a wide range of industries sent a letter to the White House on Thursday asking the Trump administration to reconsider a proposed 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The administration has already imposed duties on $50 billion of Chinese imports. In the letter, the American businesses claimed that the additional tariffs would result in U.S. businesses and consumers paying $62.5 billion in tariffs per year.

"Continuing the tit-for-tat tariff escalation with China only serves to expand the harm to more U.S. economic interests, including farmers, families, businesses, and workers," the trade associations wrote, adding that small businesses that can't adapt to the tariffs would be hit particularly hard. "U.S. businesses and citizens--not Chinese companies or the government--pay these tariffs on U.S. imports." The Trump administration levied tariffs as a form of retaliation to what it says are unfair Chinese trading practices and the theft of intellectual property.

Companies including Dell, Cisco, and Hewlett-Packard sent a separate letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday arguing that a duty on electronic imports would increase the cost of internet access and delay the implementation of new wireless technology, Bloomberg reports. "It would cause broad, disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests," the letter said.

Thursday was the deadline to submit public comments about the proposed tariffs. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the White House have yet to issue a final decision.