Collateral Damage: US Consumers May See Higher Prices
Techlife News|September 07, 2019
The United States and China put in place their latest tariff increases on each other’s goods, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods, and other consumer items before the holiday shopping season.

President Donald Trump said U.S.-China trade talks were still on for September. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat. “But we can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country.” he 15% U.S. taxes apply to about $112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff increases.

But with prices of many retail goods now likely to rise, the Trump administration’s move threatens the U.S. economy’s main driver: consumer spending. As businesses pull back on investment spending and exports slow in the face of weak global growth, American shoppers have been a key bright spot for the economy.

“We have got a great economy,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. “But I do think that the uncertainty caused by volatile tariff situation and this developing trade war could jeopardize that strength and that growth, and that is, I think, that’s a legitimate concern,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

As a result of Trump’s higher tariffs, many U.S. companies have warned that they will be forced to pass on to their customers the higher prices they will pay on Chinese imports. Some businesses, though, may decide in the end to absorb the higher costs rather than raise prices for their customers.

In China, authorities began charging higher duties on American imports at midday September 1º, according to employees who answered the phone at customs offices in Beijing and the southern port of Guangzhou. They declined to give their names.

Tariffs of 10% and 5% apply to items ranging from frozen sweet corn and pork liver to marble and bicycle tires, the government announced earlier.

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