US, China Trade War: Ripple Effects On Consumers

Chinese products
Chinese products

An escalating trade war between United States of America and China is likely to create ripple effects on consumer products.

Until now, President Donald Trump’s tariffs on a total of $250 billion in Chinese imports have largely hit intermediate and capital goods- items typically bought by businesses, not shoppers.

That will change if Mr. Trump follows through with his threat to tax nearly every product China sends to the United States, or roughly $300 billion worth of goods.

The United States trade representative on Monday detailed a list of what would face a tax of as much as 25 percent, which includes nearly 4,000 product categories.

Mr. Trump said on Monday he had not yet decided whether to impose the tariffs, but his administration has begun the formal process necessary for the United States to make good on his threat.

Officials said that the new batch of tariffs “covers essentially all products not currently covered” by Mr. Trump’s existing tariffs on Chinese imports, but that the list “excludes pharmaceuticals, certain pharmaceutical inputs, select medical goods, rare earth materials, and critical minerals.”

So what would get hit with tariffs? The list reads like a shopping list for Target or Walmart, including toys, shoes, coffee makers and watches. Smartphones, photocopiers and video game consoles will face a tax. Also included are guns, fireworks, backgammon, Christmas decorations, practical joke toys, furs (with or without paws) and merry-go-rounds.

The list includes nearly 40 Chinese import categories that Americans collectively spent $1 billion or more on in 2017, according to government statistics. The largest among those, at $44.5 billion, are cellphones, followed by laptops at $37.2 billion and toys at $12.2 billion.

Here’s a quick scan of other consumer favorites that will be subject to tariffs if Mr. Trump follows through:

  • Kitchenware
  • LED lamps
  • Flags
  • Microwave ovens
  • Curtains and drapes
  • Coffee makers
  • Hair dryers
  • Bed linens
  • Sweaters
  • Shoes, including golf shoes, boots, running shoes and other footwear
  • Bras
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Wigs and facial hair made of human hair
  • T-shirts
  • Track suits
  • Smartphones, like iPhones
  • Flat-panel televisions
  • Copiers and fax machines
  • Video cameras
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Keyboards
  • Loudspeakers
Sporting goods
  • Golf clubs
  • Water skis, surf boards and other water sport equipment
  • Bicycle parts
  • Fishing rods
  • Military rifles, shotguns and their parts
  • Rocket launchers and flame throwers
Drugstore essentials
  • Greeting cards
  • Artificial flowers
  • Flashlights
  • Pens

Mr. Trump has insisted that the tariffs will not raise prices for consumers, saying that China will bear the brunt of the taxes, a view that many economists dispute.

The New York Times