June 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Trade Representative began a weeklong series of hearings on President Donald Trump's proposed expansion of tariffs on Chinese goods on Monday.
Representatives from more than 300 U.S. companies including retailer Best Buy, clothing line Kenneth Cole and streaming device Roku testified about how the proposed $300 billion tariffs, which will effectively place duties on nearly all Chinese goods, will affect their businesses.
Some companies that depend on Chinese imports for some aspects of their business opposed the tariffs, stating they will increase the cost of production or force them to seek alternative suppliers.
"It'll be the straw that breaks the camel's back for a lot of our companies," said the president and CEO of the Accessory Council, Karen Giberson.
Kenneth Cole CEO Mark Schneider said Trump's trade policy has made it difficult for him to decide where to seek sources of supply.
"I started looking in Mexico, but I got scared off," Schneider said, referring to Trump's threat to increase tariffs on Mexico in response to immigration concerns. "Some sort of stability with this type of discussion would be really helpful. There's no preparation for anything."
David Baer, whose company, Element Electronics, is the sole U.S. manufacturer of televisions, said the tariffs would force his company to shut down its South Carolina factory and move production offshore.
Organizations that compete with Chinese products, such as the National Council of Textile Organizations, have praised the tariffs and called for it to extend further to include items such as finished textile and apparel products.
Apple did not request to testify but is expected to file comments on the tariffs before the end of the deadline.
In addition to participating in the testimony, companies that oppose the tariffs have attempted to lobby for Congress to prevent further tariffs or have items related to their industries excluded.