New Round of $300B in China Tariffs Includes Just About Every Promotional Product Possible
Days after the U.S. raised existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, President Trump announced that an additional $300 billion in imports from China would soon be subject to 25 percent tariffs. That $500 billion total would represent virtually all of the goods the U.S. imports from China, and includes most Chinese-made promotional products. While Trump has continually insisted, mostly through Twitter, that talks with Chinese officials are still progressing, U.S. consumers and businesses will likely soon feel the impact of the drastic tariff increases more than they already have.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a list of the nearly 5,000 new items to be hit with 25 percent tariffs, with multiple products and product categories related to the promotional products industry making an appearance. Add these to the promo items on the original round of tariffs, and nearly every kind of promotional item sourced from China is included.
Apparel, especially, took up a large chunk of the list, with 30 of the 142 pages in the document relating to apparel, footwear or garment manufacturing. There are multiple instances of items relating to T-shirts and tank tops, made from both organic material and man-made material.
The list also includes:
- Sweaters, sweatshirts and pullovers (both organic and man-made fibers)
- Baby apparel
- Track suits
- Ice hockey and field hockey gloves
- Gloves and mittens
- Umbrellas and parts
- Safety headwear
- Drinking glasses and other glassware products
- Numerous printing machinery, including used for textile printing
- Golf balls
- Golf equipment
- Badminton rackets and parts
- "Festive, carnival and other entertainment articles"
- "Magic tricks and practical joke articles"
- Christmas ornaments
- Board games (such as checkers, backgammon, chess, etc.)
- Confetti, paper spirals or streamers, party favors, noisemakers
- Ballpoint pens
- Pencils and crayons
- Pen and pencil holders
- Refills for ballpoint pens
- Cigarette lighters
- Hair accessories (combs, etc.)
To view the entire list, click here.
That's a long list, for sure. But, while daunting, it's not something distributors should immediately concern themselves with. For one thing, many suppliers manufacture in the U.S. or source from countries other than China, so these items would obviously be exempt from tariffs, as the president succinctly explained in one of 10 tweets sent between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Another reason distributors shouldn't stress just yet is that immediate changes aren't guaranteed, as many suppliers who source from China prepared with inventory on-hand. But depending on how long China and the U.S. go without an agreement, or how long the tariffs stay in place, those inventories could dry up.
In the meantime, the president offered this as an indication of the ongoing talks: