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The Trump Card

What’s the story?
In 2018, President Trump issued executive orders calling for tighter tariff enforcement which led to US tariffs being placed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods (so far). The Trump administration then announced on March 1st of this year that in the months following, they would be introducing steel and aluminum tariffs. China issued tariffs of their own in retaliation.

Long story short: The two largest economies in the world have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods.

What’s the goal?
The goal of tariffs is to increase the price of imported goods and, in turn, stimulate the American manufacturing industry and the purchase of American goods.

Who is affected?
The Trump tariffs have sweeping implications for the entire American design and furniture industry, from large-scale manufacturers to small, independent studios and wholesale importers like US Futaba.

And it’s not just raw material tariffs that are affecting the furniture industry. Trump also proposed tariffs on 1,300 product categories including medical supplies and consumer goods like food, apparel, and houseware. Ultimately, the tariffs affect what we’re bringing into our homes.

How will this affect consumers?
Essentially the tariffs will affect the prices of consumer goods as importers look for ways to maintain their business models in a cost-effective way. Companies may turn to other countries who have been costlier than China in the past but are now the less expensive option.

What does the future look like?
Although the long-term consequences are unknown at this time, given past results from similar economic changes, economic activity will likely slow down and US consumers will likely take the brunt of the imposed costs.