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Tariffs and Trade Wars

Aug 1, 2019
August 2019

AS WE HAVE ALL HEARD, the United States is involved in a trade war with China. It has been ongoing for some time, and the tariffs continue to increase — what began as a 10 percent tariff now attaches a 25 percent tariff to many goods. The administration may levy additional tariffs which could be 10 or 25 percent. Uncertainty is the constant.

Consequently, individuals and businesses face some difficult decisions. Do you begin to work with suppliers not in China to avoid incurring tariffs? If so, can you receive the same quality when you work with a new supplier? Do you run into timing issues affecting your ability to produce the required amount of product? Do you stay the course and hope an agreement is reached and the tariffs are removed or lowered? Or do you just stand up and scream?

HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU COULD DO:

1. Budget your inventory. Make sure you have what is needed but not too much (in the event the tariffs are reversed and you then have product at too high a cost).

2. Consider your pricing. Work with your customers and determine where there are opportunities to raise prices.

3. Move the manufacturing of the products. Can you find a supplier in a different country, or can your supplier move its factory?

We have heard many stories of companies misclassifying goods or attempting to alter the origin country to circumvent the tariffs. This is not a secret, and U.S. Customs is aware of these tactics. We suggest you don’t do anything improper.

The best advice is to be nimble. If you are able to delay your purchases, it may allow for some clarity and the ability to have a better understanding of future pricing. Take this opportunity to review your finances and assess your situation; you will be better off for it.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Always seek the expertise of a certified financial advisor or other qualified provider with any questions you may have regarding personal finance, investment and money-related issues.

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