The past week has seen a whirlwind of activity in the world of tariffs as the trade war has officially escalated. To recap, last week, tariffs on List 3 products out of China beginning May 10 were officially raised from 10% to 25%. Interestingly, those hikes were implemented ahead of formal notice. In response, China is calling for a “people’s war” against Washington and announced it will raise tariffs on U.S. imports from 10% to 20-25% on June 1st.
Many expect businesses large and small to be hurt by the tariffs--along with consumers. Talking to CNBC, Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation, noted, “Retailers have thin profit margins, and they’ll likely be forced to raise prices on products impacted. The tariffs will have a disproportionate impact on small businesses that have little control over their supply chains and will start to see higher prices from suppliers immediately and be forced to pass along those costs to their customers.”
According to CNBC, large corporations like General Motors and Ford have already been affected by the steel tariffs imposed last year. Meanwhile, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that they are considering imposing a 4th tranche of Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods. This fourth tranche would put a 25% tariff on nearly every other HTS that doesn’t have a Section 301 tariff currently in place, hitting previously spared goods such as apparel, electronics, toys, and other household goods. A public hearing will be held on June 17th, after which the tariffs may be implemented. President Trump is scheduled to meet with Xi Jinping at next month’s G20 summit.
Stay tuned here for more updates.