By Jose Flores-Jimenez
Bells will be ringing for deals on Christmas presents, but the tariffs set by President Donald Trump on Chinese imports this season could make this Christmas a little frosty for consumers. The ongoing tariffs enacted by President Trump more than 16 months ago makes this the first time that major American companies are deeply affected by our Trade War with the Chinese economy during the Christmas Season.
Since July 2018, the US has been defending its position as the largest economy in the world by discouraging American consumers from buying Chinese imports with higher tariffs. The tariffs, implemented by President Trump, function as a tax that retail companies and small businesses have to pay in order to get their usual shipments of products from China.
China responded to the tariffs by enacting tariffs of their own on US imports in China, locking the two economic powers in a competition of who can set the higher tariff on who. So far, the biggest loser has been American companies, such as Ford, Stanley Black and Decker and Tyson Foods, that pay the tariffs. Now that the holidays are among us, more tariffs mean more cuts into company profits, which results in higher prices for the consumer.
“This (season) is probably where retailers expect a big part of their yearly profits to come,” says Economics teacher Alexander Sarria.“So they’re very sensitive to what’s been going on in trade.”
Last Friday, President Trump announced that an agreement between China and the United States had been reached, settling on an end to China’s tariffs on US imports, and a decrease in tariffs on Chinese imports.
While this continues to affect some clothing products, such as shoes and coats, which continues to have a seven and a half percent tax, the overall prices of consumer goods this season will not affect toys and tech products.
“The Trade War supports (Trump’s) base. He politically gained an advantage for doing these things. His supporters will support him for it,” says Mr. Sarria.