16 Things That Are About to Get Way More Expensive
As tariffs kick in, here are the items you can expect to carry increased price tags soon, and strategies to protect your wallet.
What are tariffs?
As the trade war with China escalates, tariffs on Chinese goods are increasing and expanding in scope. Experts say that Americans will see jumps in price tags they’ve grown accustomed to, some bigger than others. (A tariff, as defined by Investor’s Business Daily, is a tax on imports, the purpose of which is to protect domestic production and jobs.)
President Trump’s policy has put a 25 percent tax on $250 billion worth of consumer goods that China exports to the United States. And he’s poised to impose tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of goods imported from China. “That would mean almost all imports from China would be subject to a 25 percent import tax,” writes Reuters.
The stated goal of these tariffs is to have a positive impact on America’s trade deficit with China (the BBC defines a trade deficit as the difference between how much your country buys from another country vs. how much you sell to that country.) As of last year, the U.S. trade deficit with China was approximately $375 billion.
While the long-term result of these tariffs is unknown, in the short term, consumers will undoubtedly see a rise in the cost of a host of goods. ““The supply chain will try to absorb as much of the blow as they can, then they will move those costs forward to consumers,” David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation told CNBC.
Here is a look at some items you can expect to have increased price tags, and some strategies to get them at the best price possible.
Katheryn Russ, professor of economics at University of California, Davis, recommends buying any seasonal items you can now rather than waiting. Back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, will be in the next round of tariffs and their price tags will likely soar.
CBS News reports that heavy hitters in the footwear industry like Nike, Teva, Foot Locker, Johnston & Murphy, Rockport and Under Armour sent a letter to President Trump warning of what they called “catastrophic” consequences of the new proposed tariffs. Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America foresee increases of $50 on athletic sneakers, and $80 on specialty boots made for firefighters.
Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview with Bloomberg, “We will do everything we can to keep prices low but increased tariffs lead to increased prices.” He added, “It’s very item- and category-specific. There are some places where as we get tariffs, we will take prices up.”
“There are so many tech companies in the United States and around the world who outsource their manufacturing to China and the tariff on these products are likely to cause consumers to not buy as impulsively. Expect many TVs to cost around $50 dollars more. What can you do about it? Wait on purchasing your electronics. Trade wars aren’t meant to last long, it’s meant to be more like a game of chicken. The key is to wait it out for either side to discuss a better alternative.” —Nate Masterson CEO of Maple Holistics. Here are some Best Buy shopping tips employees won’t tell you
“Imported fruit will cost 15 percent more across the board. By the time they reach the shelf, 30 percent of the price will be various duty taxes.”—Nate Masterson CEO of Maple Holistics
“Computers, even ours—Psychsoftpc, which are made in the USA—are going to get more expensive especially after January when the 25 percent tariff takes effect. Parts pricing will go up and this will have to be passed on to consumers. Additionally, we are seeing some shortages in parts like entry-level Intel CPUs as the industry adjusts to the new normal, so these particular parts will see an increase in cost over and above the tariffs due to supply and demand.”—Dr. Tim Lynch, CEO of Psychsoftpc
As reported in Bloomberg, Apple warned that tariffs would raise prices of the Apple Watch, AirPods, accessories, chargers, adapters and even equipment that the company uses to manufacture products in the United States. The L.A. Times offers this breakdown: “A $1,249 iPhone XS Max with 256 gigabytes of storage has $453 worth of parts, according to TechInsights. A 25% levy on that would be $113, raising the purchase price by about 9%.” Check out these 13 savvy shopping tricks you’ll wish you knew all along.
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“Washing machines and refrigerators are expected to be impacted by the proposed tariff on Chinese goods. Imported washing machines alone have already seen an increase of nearly 20 percent in cost since the beginning of 2018. If you have a large home appliance on its last leg, shop for deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday in order to get the most savings. With Sears’ recent bankruptcy filing, liquidation sales are well underway in their brick and mortar stores, with savings on home appliances at up to 40 percent off. Consumers can expect even higher markdowns from Sears as the time gets closer to the end of November when their liquidation sales are expected to be completed.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com
“Products made with steel or aluminum, such as cars, will increase in price as a result of the 25 percent tariff on imported steel, and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. While not all cars are imported from China, General Motors imports the Buick Envision crossover, and will likely be raising the sticker price on that model.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com