Retailers stock up as tariffs loom

Freeman Staff

June 8, 2019

WAUKESHA - As pending tariffs loom closer, retailers are continuing to stock up on inventory, according to a Friday release from the National Retail Federation.

The NRF predicts that imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to continue to grow this summer as retailers stock up inventory to get ahead of higher tariffs.

“With a major tariff increase already announced and the possibility that tariffs could be imposed on nearly all goods and inputs from China, retailers are continuing to stock up while they can to protect their customers as much as possible against the price increases that will follow,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said in a statement. “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not foreign governments. Retailers will continue to do everything they possibly can to mitigate the impact of tariffs on consumers, but if we see further escalation in the trade war, it will be much more difficult to avoid higher price tags on a wide range of products. It’s time to stop using American families as pawns in negotiations for better trade deals.”

The Trump administration increased 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% in May, with the increase applying to imports that arrive in the United States after June 15. The administration has also proposed to implement new 25% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods and recently removed India and Turkey from the Generalized System of Preferences program, which allows certain items to be imported duty-free. In addition, the administration announced a 5% escalating tariff on all imports from Mexico, but those goods that travel by truck or train and do no effect cargo numbers at U.S. seaports.