New Balance Athletics has long advocated for and benefited from tariffs, competing with Nike and other footwear companies while still making shoes in the United States.
Now, it’s among the critics of President Donald Trump’s duties testifying at a public hearing that started Monday.
The Boston-based company said while it supports Trump’s efforts to force China to address intellectual property theft in a trade deal, its U.S. factories are supported by a global supply chain connected to China and built over decades.
Duties on soles and other components would hurt the business, as do China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, the company said.
Trump’s proposed levies won’t “just translate into higher costs, but jeopardize our ability to maintain production levels and continue investing in our domestic factories,” New Balance Vice President Monica Gorman said in comments posted online.
About 320 officials from U.S. manufacturers, retailers and other companies and trade groups are set to appear over seven days of hearings that started Monday at the U.S. International Trade Commission before panels of officials from the Office of U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies.
While some companies including Rheem Manufacturing support the duties, most are arguing that Trump shouldn’t tax their products.
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The footwear company is among the U.S. companies lining up for the hearing to drive home a now-common point: Trump’s proposed tariffs are bad for business.
But the stakes have never been higher, with the latest wave of threatened duties set to hit essentially all remaining imports from China including mobile phones, laptops, apparel and other consumer items.