While retailers and manufacturers are gearing up for what should be another solid year of holiday sales, there’s another issue that’s been sitting on the back burner for a little while now but has started to boil over and is already rearing its ugly head.
If you’ve followed any political news over the past few months—really since President Donald Trump took office—you’re likely aware of the escalating trade war that this administration is currently involved in with a number of other world powers, but especially that with China. In what feels like a matter of weeks, the United States Trade Representative’s office has issued one list after another that details billions of dollars worth of products and goods that would be included in these proposed tariffs on imports from China. The exact value of the products discussed is roughly $32 billion—though the president has threatened to add additional tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of goods, or roughly 98 percent of goods imported from China.
Coalitions of businesses, retailers, and the consumer technology industry have all voiced their opinions on the issue, with nearly everyone in agreement that any proposed tariffs would essentially undo any positive impact businesses realized from the recent tax reform efforts. In addition, general consensus is that the financial burden of the proposed tariffs would be shoved along to the consumer through price increases.