Kohl’s joins retailers in opposing Trump tariffs

Third large area company to have all spoken out

Kohl's headquarters
The Kohl's Corp. headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Major retailers from across the United States, including Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp., have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to impose tariffs on goods imported from China.

Trump announced recently that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.


Retailers opposing the tariffs say more than $60 billion in tariffs could target products ranging from electronics to apparel, footwear and toys.

The letter to Trump was signed by 24 companies, including Kohl’s, and also included Wal-Mart Inc., Target Corp., J.C. Penney Co. Best Buy Co Inc., Ikea North America Services, LLC and Macy’s Inc.

“In the U.S., those who can afford less pay more because the U.S. levies the highest tariffs on basic consumer goods,” the letter states. “For example, families shopping in our stores pay higher prices because America already levies import taxes as much as 32 and 67 percent on basic clothes and shoes. Applying any additional broad-based tariff as part of a Section 301 action would worsen this inequity and punish American working families with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes, electronics, and home goods.”

Kohl’s is the latest Wisconsin-based company to publicly denounce Trump’s proposed tariffs.

After Trump announced the tariffs, MillerCoors said it was disappointed in the decision and said “it is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. has also warned that potential retaliatory tariffs from other countries would have “a significant impact” on the company.

“A punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any market would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, their suppliers and our customers in those markets,” Harley said in a statement.

The tariffs have also drawn opposition from top Wisconsin Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Janesville.

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