by Ruby Henley
I had to shop for clothes today, and I realized I would have to spend more than I had expected. I bought less, but I did buy what I really needed. You need to buy now, instead of later.
Of course, if you are wealthy, you will not be taking on water in the same boat with me. You will make it to the shore, while I sink. Oh, well…enough about me, let’s talk about the figures and what is ahead.
“Things are going to become more expensive because of this added tax,” best-selling author and personal finance expert Chris Hogan tells CNBC Make It. “This has the potential to impact a lot of areas that people need day to day to survive or to run their business.”
I believe he is right as of today. The figures will make you gasp. A 10 percent levy on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods recently went into effect, and there will be another round to rise to 25 percent by the end of the year. That’s on top of the $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods that went into effect in August. Whoa!
How much more could you, the consumer, pay, and for what is the question?
The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued a list of Chinese products that the U.S. plans to target. The list includes everything from vegetables and seafood to chemical elements and construction materials.
It is so extensive, you will have to read it yourself.
The $50 billion in Chinese products that Trump hit in the first tariff wave in July, which fell mainly on industrial goods, Monday’s action will affect consumer products such as air conditioners, spark plugs, furniture and lamps.
All I can say is as people try to build back here in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence, this is not the time for an increase in consumer prices.
Starting Sept. 24, American importers will pay an extra 10 percent tariff for the affected items, rising to 25 percent at the end of the year, according to senior administration officials, who briefed reporters on the condition that they not be identified by name.
China has vowed to retaliate for the latest U.S. tariffs with new import taxes on $60 billion in American products. If that happens, the president said, he would immediately begin the process of approving tariffs on a further $267 billion in Chinese imports — effectively taxing everything Americans buy from China.
I know President Trump feels this will pay off in the long run. I know he is trying to break our dependency on China…I know this, but the figures are what they are. And some of us are on a fixed income. That is the bottom line, and some of us are going to struggle.
“The Trump administration is yet again sending a perplexing mixed message by inviting Chinese officials for negotiations and then imposing additional tariffs in the run-up to the talks,” said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China division. “It is difficult to see what the administration’s vision of an end game might be other than total capitulation by China to all U.S. demands.”
I hope President Trump is not expecting too much from China, as he could end up costing this Country to suffer in ways he may not be expecting. Just be aware of the facts and figures as you go out to shop…look ahead and buy now…don’t wait.
“We stand ready to negotiate with China any time if they are willing to move towards serious talks to remedy trade problems,” White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday in New York.
He said China had to agree to some of the White House’s demands for any progress to be made. Trump “has not been satisfied with the talks with China on this,” Kudlow said.
In proceeding with additional tariffs, Trump ignored pleas from hundreds of U.S. companies who opposed the new levies at public hearings last month. Executives complained the tariffs would make their products more expensive, costing them sales.
The U.S. trade representative’s office received roughly 6,000 written comments when Trump first proposed the new tariffs, most opposing them.
Initial reaction from the business community Monday was unfavorable.
“Let’s face it, nobody on either side has any idea how long this tariff war will last or where it will end up,” said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council. “Setting aside whether this would be a successful negotiating tactic by the president, which only time will tell, the rapid escalation of tariffs and increasing uncertainty will cause significant short-term harm to both businesses and consumers.”
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Americans could soon find themselves paying more for goods they might not have known were imported from China. It’s a potential consequence of a new round of tariffs the Trump administration is proposing to slap on Chinese imports as soon as September.
And it marks a new phase in the U.S. trade war with China. Before now, the administration had deliberately avoided imposing tariffs on consumer goods in order to spare U.S. shoppers from direct economic pain. But late Tuesday, when the administration issued a list of 6,000 products worth $200 billion that it proposes to hit with 10 percent tariffs, it included consumer items ranging from baseball gloves to seafood, vacuum cleaners, toilet paper and burglar alarms.
“Consumers will feel it and perhaps as early as Christmas,” said Mary Lovely, an economics professor at Syracuse University who studies trade.
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More affected products include –
- Agricultural products,
- Handbags and hats,
- Window-mounted air conditioners,
- Christmas lights,
- Car parts,
- Food such as frozen tilapia filets,
- Many other products – see the list – even MAGA hats.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Buy now…rather than later.
How do Trade War Impact Agriculture pic.twitter.com/iJv9kE15fG
— Alastair Williamson (@StockBoardAsset) September 30, 2018
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