Trade Groups Express Concerns Over New Round Of Tariffs

A new round of tariffs put in place on Friday, May 10, by the United States is raising concerns with retailers and trade groups as the retail planning process for the 2019 holiday season begins.

As trade negotiators for the U.S. and China continue talks in Washington, D.C., 25% tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods made in China, which includes housewares and home furnishings, have been put in place by the Trump administration.

While the decision by the president has initially negatively impacted Wall Street and driven stock prices of retailers lower, there are concerns that the hike will lead to price increases and force consumers to shell out more money for a variety of products.

A report by the Trade Partnership said that the 25% tariff would cost the average American family of four $767 annually.

As they have in the past, housewares and retail industry trade groups are speaking out against the use of tariffs.

“The IHA has always maintained a free and fair trade and anti-tariff position,” said Mark Adkison, vp/international with the International Housewares Association. “We are opposed to any policy that adds cost to the supply chain without adding value. We hope the U.S. and China continue their negotiations to a resolution.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said, “Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. And they’re paid for by U.S. consumers, workers and businesses— not by China.”

Shapiro, who said the CTA is in agreement with the Trump administration that the U.S. needs to take steps to protect intellectual property, added that increasing tariffs have other negative impacts on the country.

“Beyond the damage to American businesses, the tariffs actually hurt us— and help China— in the global race to 5G technology,” he said. “In less than a year under these tariffs, the U.S. tech industry has paid more than $745 million extra for 5G-related products.”

The National Retail Federation on May 6 issued a statement against the new round of tariffs and urged the administration to reconsider what it called a “tax hike” on American consumers.