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NRF: Proposed tariffs will be ‘counterproductive’

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A coalition comprised of the National Retail Federation and other associations is urging President Donald Trump’s administration to rethink its proposed import tariffs.

The NRF, along with more than 100 other associations representing U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, technology companies and other supply chain stakeholders submitted comments on Friday to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer. These thoughts outlined how the administration’s proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports would harm the U.S. economy.

In March, President Trump announced that the United States will impose tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises. However, the administration’s proposed tariffs, coupled with retaliation promised by China, would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $3 billion, and destroy 134,000 American jobs, according to a study by the NRF and the Consumer Technology Association.

As a result, the associations are urging the administration to instead develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively address China’s unfair trade practices by aligning with Congress and like-minded trading partners.

“The proposed tariff list and escalating tariff threats made by the administration will not effectively advance our shared goal of changing these harmful Chinese practices in a durable, verifiable and enforceable manner,” the coalition’s letter stated. “Only through extensive collaboration and alignment can the administration develop and execute a strategic policy to effectively address our shared issues of critical concern in China.”

The group also proposed that the tariffs will be “counterproductive and undermine your efforts to change China’s policies and practices. There is no way to scope tariffs such that they would not impose direct and indirect costs on U.S. imports, inputs and exports in a way that strains the global supply chain and drives prices up,” according to the letter.

While the administration created the tariff to create leverage to change the direction of the Chinese economy, “that provides little comfort to those businesses, farms and workers whose livelihoods are being put at risk,” the coalition said.

USTR is scheduled to hold hearings next week to consider input from industries impacted by the proposed tariffs.

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Jeweler is ready to personalize in-store experiences

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new in-store platform will give Helzberg Diamonds’ associates more insight into customers’ needs and available inventory.

The jeweler completed an upgrade of its point-of-sale platform. The new architecture, the Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solution, is modernizing Helzberg’s infrastructure, and allowing the company to focus on strategies that better support store operations and deeper customer interactions.

In addition, Helzberg integrated Oracle’s order broker solution, which gives access to real-time inventory, and the company’s customer engagement module, which presents a single, real-time view of customers across all channels. All three solutions are working in concert to drive revenue growth across more than 200 Helzberg stores throughout the United States.

“The Oracle solutions enable our store associates to consult with shoppers throughout the store. The vision is to make it easier to complete transactions and allow customers to interact with us on their terms,” said Jeff Rohr, CIO, Helzberg Diamonds. “The Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service interface is intuitive for store associates helping to provide a seamless sales experience for customers, which is a priority for us.”

The jeweler will continue integrating its Oracle Retail technology with third party solutions to support a unified shopping experience across their brand, according to the company.

 

 

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Report: High-end fashion brand ‘targets’ discounter in counterfeiting suit

BY CSA Staff

Target is in hot water with high-end fashion brand Burberry.

British luxury fashion house Burberry Group is suing Target for trademark infringement for the use of Burberry’s iconic check print pattern, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Burberry’s check pattern, which dates back to the 1920s, is a registered trademark. Burberry has sued a host of other retailers, including J.C. Penney, over the same issue.

According to the report, Burberry filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York last week. The document states that Target is selling products — ranging from scarves, eyewear, luggage and stainless-steel bottles — that have “close imitations or counterfeits of the Burberry check trademark.”

The luxury retailer said it issued a cease-and-desist letter to Target in early 2017, but that the discounter has continued to sell the products.

To read more, click here.

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