The latest US increase might hit American consumers harder, said Jake Parker, vice president of the US-China Business Council, an industry group. He said the earlier 10 percent increase was absorbed by companies and offset by a weakening of the Chinese currency's exchange rate. A 25 percent hike "needs to be passed on to the consumer," said Parker. "It is just too big to dilute with those other factors." Despite the public acrimony, local Chinese officials who want to attract American investment have tried to reassure companies there is "minimal retaliation," said Parker. "We've actually seen an increased sensitivity to US companies at the local level," he said.