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Retailers Scramble To Deal With New 'Cinderella Tax'

Jayson Derrick

Retailers scrambling to capture a larger portion of consumer spending as new tariffs come online means "Christmas has come early this year," but this isn't necessarily a good thing, Rick Helfenbein, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, told CNBC Tuesday. 

'Cinderella Tax'

Saturday at midnight marked day one of a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods that are being dubbed the "Cinderella tax," Helfenbein told CNBC.

The new tariffs means "our beautiful clothes for the holiday season have now turned into rags," he said. 

Helfenbein said his organization is "very upset" with the new tariffs and pleaded its case to the Trump administration.

In fact, the organization "begged on our hands and knees" to avoid punitive taxes on the American consumer, Helfenbein said.

With $550 billion in goods coming in from China, American consumers are paying $1 million extra every minute due to tariffs, he said. 

Chamber Of Commerce CEO: Give Us More Time

The new round of tariffs come at a time when China's trade team is showing a willingness to "come back to the table," Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

In the meantime, the new tariffs will "all be paid by American companies and American consumers" through the end of the year, he said. 

U.S. lawmakers have yet to approve and ratify a new free trade deal with Canada and Mexico, Donohue said. Once approved, it would mark a "a great step forward" and partially offset China-related woes, he said. 

Hush Puppies President: No Price Increase

Hush Puppies consumers in the U.S. won't see the price of shoes move higher, as the company has taken the necessary steps to mitigate all tariffs, Hush Puppies Global President Greg Tunney said on Fox Business.

The Wolverine World World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) brand has already relocated production outside of China and into India, Vietnam Cambodia and other countries that are not subject to any new tariff, he said. 

The same can't be said for all shoe companies, the executive said. Out of the 2.5 billion pairs of shoes worn in the U.S., 1.5 billion are made in China — which implies rivals will need to deal with higher costs.

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