Following the first round of $34 billion tariffs on Chinese goods, the U.S. administration’s a 25% tariff on another $16 billion worth of Chinese products took effect from August 23. Six days of public hearings about the next round tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports were also opened in Washington from August 20.
The previous rounds of U.S. tariffs are aimed at Chinese industrial machinery, electronic components and other intermediate products. In contrast, the United States may impose tariffs on thousands of consumer goods by the end of September. The $200 billion list hits Chinese seafood, furniture, lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles and so on. Some sharp-eyed American medias found that it seems to hurt Americans from birth to death: both car seats for babies and caskets are on the tariff list.
The leaders of nearly 400 companies and trade groups participated in the hearings in hopes that they could influence the final list of tariff products. They tried to convince U.S. trade officials not to tax the Chinese products or raw materials they depended on. They warned that tariffs could force them to raise prices and ruin their business potentially. It significantly increased the harm to American consumers, workers, businesses and the economy.
Huffy is the largest bicycle brand in the United States, selling 4 million Chinese-made bicycles every year. It will be forced to pass these costs on to consumers, increasing the price of important on adult bicycles, children’s bicycles, components and bicycle safety equipment like helmets.
Many child care products – including manual breast pumps, car seats, strollers, play yards, cribs and diaper stands – are dependent on Chinese materials or produced in China. Higher prices may prompt more parents to buy those child products on the second-hand market. Graco, one of baby product companies in the United States, said, “the tariff only causes a children safety issue; it will not convince China to change its policies.”
At the other end of the life journey, Douglas Chen, president of Centennial Casket, said the company relies entirely on Chinese-made caskets and the tariffs would cause great loss and improve the costs for purchasing caskets for many sad families.
In the era of global supply chain, the correlation and dependence of industrial structures in various countries have been greatly improved. The rise of the global supply chain has shifted most of manufacturing and production outside the United States, leaving companies with no choice but to rely on foreign materials, including materials from China.
Tom Cove of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association said, “China remains a vital and not easily replaceable link in our industry’s supply chain. Shifting manufacturing to other countries is simply not feasible in real time or to scale.”