There’s no doubt that the U.S.–China trade negotiations has a chain of knock-on effects, impacting on importers, retailers, and the end customer. For us, at Garmon & Company, the effect comes in the form of increased flooring material prices. As we are experiencing unexpected price increases, the cost of materials now outweighs the quotes we have been given from suppliers before the tariffs went into effect.
So, what are the tariffs? Tariffs are being applied to $200 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods, up to 25-30% for some categories. The impact of this action so far is a 15% increase in the cost of floor covering goods that are imported from China. It’s important to note that roughly 25% of all floorcovering sold in the U.S. comes from China. The issue with the tariffs is that it is the American consumer that is ultimately paying for them. Importers of goods from China are being forced to pay the tariffs and then need to pass this cost onto the consumer with higher resale prices.
Some suppliers may only raise prices when they sell out of materials imported before the tariffs were imposed. One other option is to look for suppliers on non-Chinese imports. The situation is far from clear, however.
The main question is will the tariffs remain in place over the long term? If so it is sure to hurt the U.S. economy. It was estimated back in May that the tariffs on Chinese imports would cost the average household $831 per year. With China’s president Xi Jinping not backing down on actions to impose tariffs on U.S. goods, it remains to be seen if a mutual agreement can be reached to end the tariffs and prevent a trade war.
We explain this in preparation for what may come. Because of this situation, there may be potential for proposals to be canceled. Also, a rise in budgets and project costs.