resident Trump’s on-again, off-again tweets about new tariffs on Chinese imports have been dizzying. They have generated turmoil in financial markets and understandable confusion among consumers. Some clarity was introduced on August 13, when the administration officially released its plan for new tariffs to take effect in stages this fall and winter.
The plan is to impose new 10 percent tariffs on $112 billion of Chinese imports starting on September 1. That will then be followed by a second round of duties on a different set of products, covering $160 billion of imports, on December 15. The bottom line is that, for the first time, Trump’s trade war is likely to directly raise prices for a lot of household budget items like clothing, shoes, toys, and consumer electronics.
Obviously fearful of the economic and political fallout of these tariffs, Trump plans to delay them until after the peak in imports associated with American retail shopping seasons. Slapping duties on tens of billions of dollars of smartphones, smartwatches, and video games on December 15, for example, means the tariffs will miss the traditional surge in import deliveries that arrive at the docks in October in time for the holiday season.
Here are five things you need to know about these next two rounds of tariffs.
1. DURING THE TRADE WAR, US TARIFFS ON CHINA HAVE CONTINUED TO GO UP
2. THE SEPTEMBER 1 TARIFFS WILL DIRECTLY AFFECT MANY CONSUMER GOODS FOR THE FIRST TIME
3. THE DECEMBER 15 TARIFFS WILL DIRECTLY HIT A LOT OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS AND TOYS FOR THE FIRST TIME
4 . THE TIMED ROLLOUT OF THESE TARIFFS MAY BE TO AVOID THIS YEAR’S RETAIL SHOPPING PEAKS
5. STARTING DECEMBER 15, ALMOST ALL US IMPORTS FROM CHINA WILL BE COVERED BY TRUMP’S TARIFFS
To read the full analysis by the Peterson Institute, please click here.