Fri Aug 9, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
Volumes of imported goods, including those used in RVs, continue to pour into domestic seaports despite an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, according to a monthly report released by the National Retail Federation.
“Even with virtually everything the U.S. imports from China soon to be subject to tariffs, it isn’t quick or easy for suppliers or retailers to change their supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold says.
According to the Global Port Tracker survey, in June U.S. import volumes were down 2.9 percent from May and down 3 percent year over year. Forecasts for the second half show continued declines in import volumes, the group says.
Despite the declining trend, imports into U.S. seaports this year are likely to nearly match the record import volumes recorded in 2018, it says.
Last year’s record was attributed to importers rushing to bring in products and materials ahead of scheduled tariff increases, Gold says.
Imposing tariffs on nearly every product or material imported from China “means American families are ultimately going to pay more for goods they can’t do without,” Gold says. “Even if sourcing eventually shifts away from China, it will simply come from other countries. It’s time to stop punishing American businesses, workers and families for China’s wrongdoing.”
Tariffs on Chinese goods have already cost importers more, according to a report from the Heartland Coalition.
In June, domestic importers paid $6 billion in tariffs, one of the highest-tariffed months in U.S. history and up 74 percent from the same month last year.
The latest round of tariffs announced by President Trump last week imposes new 10 percent tariffs on an additional $300 billon in Chinese goods. That action takes effect on Sept. 1. When combined with 25 percent tariffs imposed on $250 billion worth of imports over the past year, the new round will tax almost all goods the United States imports from China, the retail group says.
“Our overall outlook is more pessimistic than last month, underlining that trade wars are not harbingers of good things to come” according to the study author Ben Hackett, Founder of Hackett Associates.