More than 600 US Companies Ask Trump to Lift Tariffs on China

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The CEO Economic Outlook Index, a gauge of business confidence of big USA corporations issued quarterly by the Washington-based Business Roundtable, decreased 5.7 points in the second quarter to a value of 89.5.

And Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese imports.

A Walmart store logo is seen on the building of a Walmart Supercenter in Rosemead, California on May 23, 2019.

Adding that information of a Trump-Xi talk would be released once it was available to the Chinese foreign ministry, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang said, "China does not want to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting a trade war". Sources have told Reuters that there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the firms were quoted as saying in a joint letter on Thursday.

The United States kicked off a tariff battle with China in 2018, seeking sweeping structural changes from Beijing.

With less than three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and USA leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low.

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According to the economic nationalists in the White House, this strategy would not only help Washington to extract economic concessions from its trade partners.

In early May, Washington increased levies from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, leading Beijing to retaliate with duties of 5% to 25% on $60 billion of USA goods.

Walmart, the largest US private-sector employer and the world's largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for USA consumers.

"Trade overall has been good for Americans, good for consumers.and I realise it gets criticised at times,"Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said last week". On Wednesday, he participated in an event on Capitol Hill hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the Congressional Digital Trade Caucus, titled "Digital Trade: Empowering U.S. Small Business to Export".

As for the overall USA economy, the 127 CEOs who completed the survey projected a 2.6 percent growth of the gross domestic product in 2019, 0.1 percentage point higher than the estimate made in the previous quarter.

"An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose", the letter said.