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US tariff policies completely wrong: US entrepreneur

By Zhang Niansheng, Zhang Mengxu (People's Daily)    10:27, September 28, 2018

“The US tariff policies are completely wrong,” Curt Christian, founder and CEO of Home Furnishings Resource Group, inc. said during an interview with People’s Daily, as Washington once again ramped up tariffs against imported Chinese products.

All of the furniture imported by Christian’s company is on the tariff list. “It was a very sad day for me, and I was astonished,” he told People’s Daily.

Christian, coming from Nashville, Tennessee, started up a furniture company in Los Angeles in 1992. But due to high production cost, the company was closed in 2005 because its US-based production line lost the competition against imported furniture from Southeast Asia.

After 5 years of exploration, Christian restarted his business and established a furniture design and assembling enterprise in Nashville, whose major business is to supply furniture for American schools and universities.

He placed the designing department in the US and production base in China. Now his company ranks the second in the US in terms of school furniture.

But the current escalation of the US tariff plan might bring bankruptcy to the businessman for a second time. He told People’s Daily that it would totally destroy his business if the tariff went up to 25 percent from the next year.

The man explained that it was impossible to reestablish a production line in other countries or to replace the cost-effective Chinese products with alternative ones in such a short time.

“Chinese products feature low price, high quality, high production efficiency and high transportation speed,” he noted, explaining that it was a result of Chinese factories’ advanced production equipment and China’s first-class infrastructure.

“That’s why I choose China as my major source of supply,” he said.

If the company gets shut down again, all Christian’s efforts for his new undertaking would be in vain. Nearly 400 US employees would lose their jobs, and the government would see decreased fiscal revenue.

In addition, the price rise of school furniture would also bring damage to the higher education system, as the students will finally pay the costs.

Feeling confused by the tariff decision of the US government, he told People’s Daily that his business had no relation with the issue of intellectual property rights, and the furniture they imported from China was not patented.

“We design our products in the US, and our Chinese partners never have requested us to transfer the intellectual property rights,” he said. The tariff rise would put many US companies to death, and cause mass unemployment and bankruptcy of US households, he added.

“We work hard every day to offer the best furniture for schools,” Christian said, adding that it would be a heavy blow for himself, and an irony for all the hardworking Americans if they get bankrupt and laid off due to the tariff.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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