Adidas, Nike, PUMA say new tariffs on China would be 'catastrophic'

Containers are seen at a port in Huaian

"Any action taken to increase duties on Chinese footwear will have an immediate and long-lasting effect on American individuals and families", a coalition of more than 170 footwear companies said in a letter to Trump.

Some are trying to see the bright side, however, including PUMA CEO Bjorn Gulden, who mentioned in April "To be honest, the trade war between China and the U.S.is a little bit of a gift".

The footwear companies who signed the letter, including Clarks, Dr Martens and Converse, claim that while the average U.S. tariff on footwear is 11.3%, in some cases it can reach as high a 67.5%.

"We don't know what this agreement is the United States is talking about", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in comments to reporters.

The reason the last round of China-U.S. talks did not reach an agreement is because the United States tried "to achieve unreasonable interests through extreme pressure", Lu said."From the start this wouldn't work".

Adding to US-China tensions, the US military said one of its warships sailed on Sunday near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which is in the South China Sea and which is claimed by China.

Days after President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum last June, Mexico slapped on tariffs between 15 to 25 percent on several USA imported products such as cheese, apples, pork and potatoes, cranberries and bourbon whiskey.

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While many companies and industries want to see changes in China's policies, including resolving the issue of theft of USA technology, they oppose using tariffs as the primary weapon.

Since then, China has struck a sterner tone, suggesting that a resumption of talks aimed at ending the 10-month trade war between the world's two largest economies was unlikely to happen soon.

The Trump administration added footwear last Monday to a proposed list of additional tariffs.

The official China Daily newspaper said in an editorial that the USA government had "revealed all its ugliness" in the restrictions on Huawei.

Trump took the step after China sought major changes to a deal that US officials said had been largely agreed.

"But China will not take it and neither will Huawei".

Mr. Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

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