Remember when Donald Trump started a trade war with China? According to the president, the tariffs on Chinese goods are "working big time." Based on a warning from Walmart's senior director for global government affairs, Sarah F. Thorn, Trump's assertion may not be accurate.
In response to a new round of tariffs placed on imported goods from China, Walmart stated it may need to pass along the buck to the consumer. "This round of tariffs could impact a significant number of common consumer items that are not easily replaceable," Thorn explained in a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative. "The immediate impact will be to raise prices on consumers and tax American business and manufacturers."
CBS News reports that the White House escalated the trade war, adding "tariffs of 10 percent on another $200 billion on imported Chinese goods." The additional tariffs come just weeks before the holiday season on Sept. 24. By Jan. 1, 2019, the penalty on Chinese imports will rise to 25 percent.
To clarify, those tariffs mean every time a company like Walmart imports goods from China, they're paying a higher tax. In Walmart's letter, the company explains that nuts, grains, luggage and handbags, leather apparel, hats, hand tools, lighting, napkins, toilet paper, and vacuum cleaners are among the long list of items that may see a price increase.
The tariffs are an alleged attempt by Trump and his administration to return industries back onto American soil. According to Trump, the tariffs would make the United States a "much stronger, much richer nation."
Unfortunately, it appears as if those tariffs are going to backfire on consumers. With more money being spent on making up the taxes and price increases imposed by corporations, there won't be anything left for consumers to sink into the industry's Trump hopes to bring home.
Walmart, among other companies, hope that the trade war ends in a suitable solution for both nations with no impact on the consumer. "We are concerned about the impact on U.S. suppliers, consumers and manufacturers, as well as families around the world," Walmart's letter states.
Walmart is far from the only company against these tariffs. More than 80 associations came together to form the Americans for Free Trade. The organization represents "thousands of businesses and workers" and has started to make consumers aware of where the tariffs are doing more harm than good.
On the "Tariffs Hurt the Heartland" website, Americans for Free Trade uploaded a searchable map that links to stories from farmers and local businesses that explain how the tariffs are hurting them. "While we agree that there are issues that need to be addressed with key trading partners, tariffs are the wrong approach to bring about meaningful change," the organization wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.