WASHINGTON - Some of the world's biggest footwear firms are urging Donald Trump to end the US trade war with China, warning of a "catastrophic" effect on consumers.

A letter signed by 173 companies, including Nike and Adidas, says the president's decision to raise import tariffs to 25% will disproportionately affect the working class.

They also warn that higher levies threaten the future of some businesses. Mr Trump maintains that trade deficit will China hurts the US economy.

The US president increased levies on $200bn (£157.3bn) worth of Chinese imports into the US from 10% to 25% more than a week ago after Washington and Beijing failed to reach a deal on trade.

China retaliated by announcing plans to raise levies on $60bn of US imports from 1 June.

The footwear companies that signed the letter, including Clarks, Dr Martens and Converse, say that while the average US tariff on footwear is 11.3%, in some cases it can reach as high as 67.5%.

"Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes," the companies wrote.

"This is unfathomable."

"It is time to bring this trade war to an end," the firms urged.

When he raised tariffs earlier this month, Mr Trump told companies that they could reduce costs by shifting production to the US.(FA)